Huge Solar Flare not as damaging as predicted. But the possibility is still there for major events in the future.

Posted: July 16, 2012. At: 10:37 AM. This was 5 years ago. Post ID: 4263

Massive Coronal Mass Ejection event. Could this be a reality?
Massive Coronal Mass Ejection event. Could this be a reality?

The July 14 Solar Flare was not as destructive as we all thought it would be, but in the future there could be another more destructive Solar Flare that could cause some real damage to Earth. The 2009 movie “Knowing” featured a massive Coronal Mass Ejection of stellar matter that hit the Earth and incinerated the population of the planet. The protagonist in the movie made it to his family to be with them as the planet was burned by the superheated solar material. The Sun does have her own weather, the Sunspots are due to magnetic field lines, the magnetic field comes up from the surface of the Sun on a certain point and forms a half circle as it comes back down to the surface of the Sun. The magnetic fields prevent the normal convection process from warming the surface of the Sun in that area, therefore Sunspots appear. They are still thousands of degrees, but a little cooler than the surrounding surface and slightly sunken into the surface. Some people were predicting doomsday scenarios for the arrival of the stellar material, but there is really nothing to worry about, the magnetosphere of the Earth will deflect the charged particles around the Earth, sure there was some auroral activity:, but the overall impact was not as bad as predicted.

An Asteroid impact would cause more damage. In this posting: Strange sphere feeding off the Sun, I wrote about a strange sphere that was seen in the Sun`s corona feeding off the stellar material. That is a strange thing to see when you know the Sun is millions of degrees inside the stellar core and 6000 degrees Celsius on the surface. Even the corona that extends far out into space is extremely hot. Up to a million degrees, but it is not as dense as the surface though. Unlike what this person on Yahoo Answers thinks, you would not freeze if you went into the corona in a spacesuit. More likely you would be vaporised instantly like the debris that went past the shield in the movie Sunshine. But Yahoo answers is a very useful website, but some of the people posting on there need to read a book once in a while. The person that close to the Sun would be evaporated, there is no question about that. Our space probe Helios 2 has made it to within 32 million miles from the core of the Sun, but we want to get even closer to examine the stellar corona even more. There are plans for a lightweight composite spacecraft to come within 4 million miles of the stellar core, this craft will be exposed to temperatures of 2,600 ,degree Fahrenheit, but will be protected by a sun-shield.

The movie Sunshine is not a realistic movie though, the temperatures at the surface of the Sun would have vaporised the stellar bomb before it reached the target. And if it had triggered new reactions at the stellar core to make the Sun brighter, assuming it even was able to reach the 15,000,000 degree Celsius core without being vaporised and converted into superheated plasma, and it detonated and fixed the Sun, it would take up to a million years for the new sunlight to reach the surface of the Sun and eight minutes to reach the Earth. So Capa`s wife would be frozen by then. And what was the outside of the stellar bomb made of anyway? There is a paywalled article here explaining what would really be required to replace the fuel of the sun. But it is a good movie if you ignore the inaccuracies present in the plot. But a coronal mass ejection is still a threat although we have other things to worry about as well, such as climate change and the food crisis. We need to create more hardened electronics that can better withstand the Electromagnetic Pulse from the energy hitting our magnetic field. This article gives more information about the phenomenon of Coronal Mass Ejections and is well worth a read. I am sure I heard a bit of static on my radio during the impact of the radiation with the Earth, this is possible. A much larger Mass Ejection could induce currents in the many power-lines stretching across continents and knock out power all over the country, that is something that could be effected by this event, but it would have to be a big one. The Solar Storm of 1859 was the largest solar flare ever recorded, it induced currents in telegraph lines, even some Telegraph operators received electric shocks. So if a large enough flare was thrown out and it hit us we would have a lot of trouble, but the July 14 event was too small.

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