As recent as a week ago there was a plasma rain storm on the Sun. Plasma loops are referred to as “coronal rain” and results in a rain like dance due to the magnetic fields they encounter on their return to the Suns surface. But alas, that doesn’t explain what more is going on…
I looked to SpaceWeather.com in hopes of finding more. In checking the possible activity over the next couple of days I found there is a 15% chance of Geomagnetic Storms. Odds of any M-Class solar flares earth bound are about the same, 15%. Yet the site details a magnetic filament / a plasma loop that reached out from the southwestern limb of the Sun, big enough to pass a Jupiter sized planet through. So far I’m not getting warm fuzzies!
Next stop, NOAA. NOAA predicts calm levels of the geomagnetic field over the next couple of days but places the levels at ‘unsettled’ for day three (March 1). The predictions don’t seem to be that strong, but I have never received an e-mail suggesting any problems before so excuse me if I am curious, or concerned, or both.
Then I came across this: ‘Solar Maximum in 2013’. Apparently it is due to the Suns 11 year cycle. The article speaks of what if’s but no one will die, and then asks what would happen if one of these loops (like the one that Jupiter could fit through) were to hit the Earth…Uhm…, panic and death? But that is NOT going to happen. So what is going to happen? Likely some intermittent scrambling of data transmissions and perhaps difficulty in navigation near the poles. Storms during this time frame were discussed during the Bush era and one of the possibilities is Aurora’s throughout the atmosphere of the Western Hemisphere.
So what is the final word? Our phone service might be intermittent, we might miss the last few minutes of Continuum, but in return we could see a cool light show in the sky!