We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:16 AM
Very Active Region Coming Our Way
A new, very active region is approaching over the left side of the sun. It has already popped off 12 flares (C and M class) in 2 days (Oct. 8-10). The region may be a harbinger of geo-effective activity to come. Credit: NASA/SDO
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001
We are approaching the solar maximum period now, which is roughly an 11 year cycle. We need to hope it doesn't get much worse. Instead of our infrastructures becoming more resilient, with each solar peak we seem to be in a more fragile state. Power grids and communications, including GPS systems are particularly vulnerable to powerful storms.
It would be nice if it were just fear-mongering, but it's not and there is a very real possibility of widespread problems if we get a big one.
The Sun brings life to our planet...except when it burps.
At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new.
This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. -- Carl Sagan