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Thread: NASA predicts solar flare causing 1 trillion dollars of damage in 2013

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    Senior Member John Cramer's Avatar
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    NASA predicts solar flare causing 1 trillion dollars of damage in 2013

    New Solar Cycle Prediction + Play Audio | + Download Audio | + Join mailing list

    May 29, 2009: An international panel of experts led by NOAA and sponsored by NASA has released a new prediction for the next solar cycle. Solar Cycle 24 will peak, they say, in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots.

    "If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

    Right: A solar flare observed in Dec. 2006 by NOAA's GOES-13 satellite.

    It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression.

    "Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather," points out Biesecker. "The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we're predicting for 2013."

    The 1859 storm--known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare--electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused "only" $80 to 125 billion in damage.



    Above: This plot of sunspot numbers shows the measured peak of the last solar cycle in blue and the predicted peak of the next solar cycle in red. Credit: NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center. [more]

    The latest forecast revises an earlier prediction issued in 2007. At that time, a sharply divided panel believed solar minimum would come in March 2008 followed by either a strong solar maximum in 2011 or a weak solar maximum in 2012. Competing models gave different answers, and researchers were eager for the sun to reveal which was correct.

    "It turns out that none of our models were totally correct," says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA's lead representative on the panel. "The sun is behaving in an unexpected and very interesting way."

    Researchers have known about the solar cycle since the mid-1800s. Graphs of sunspot numbers resemble a roller coaster, going up and down with an approximately 11-year period. At first glance, it looks like a regular pattern, but predicting the peaks and valleys has proven troublesome. Cycles vary in length from about 9 to 14 years. Some peaks are high, others low. The valleys are usually brief, lasting only a couple of years, but sometimes they stretch out much longer. In the 17th century the sun plunged into a 70-year period of spotlessness known as the Maunder Minimum that still baffles scientists.



    Above: Yearly-averaged sunspot numbers from 1610 to 2008. Researchers believe upcoming Solar Cycle 24 will be similar to the cycle that peaked in 1928, marked by a red arrow. Credit: NASA/MSFC

    Right now, the solar cycle is in a valley--the deepest of the past century. In 2008 and 2009, the sun set Space Age records for low sunspot counts, weak solar wind, and low solar irradiance. The sun has gone more than two years without a significant solar flare.

    "In our professional careers, we've never seen anything quite like it," says Pesnell. "Solar minimum has lasted far beyond the date we predicted in 2007."

    In recent months, however, the sun has begun to show timorous signs of life. Small sunspots and "proto-sunspots" are popping up with increasing frequency. Enormous currents of plasma on the sun's surface ("zonal flows") are gaining strength and slowly drifting toward the sun's equator. Radio astronomers have detected a tiny but significant uptick in solar radio emissions. All these things are precursors of an awakening Solar Cycle 24 and form the basis for the panel's new, almost unanimous forecast.



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    According to the forecast, the sun should remain generally calm for at least another year. From a research point of view, that's good news because solar minimum has proven to be more interesting than anyone imagined. Low solar activity has a profound effect on Earth's atmosphere, allowing it to cool and contract. Space junk accumulates in Earth orbit because there is less aerodynamic drag. The becalmed solar wind whips up fewer magnetic storms around Earth's poles. Cosmic rays that are normally pushed back by solar wind instead intrude on the near-Earth environment. There are other side-effects, too, that can be studied only so long as the sun remains quiet.
    Meanwhile, the sun pays little heed to human committees. There could be more surprises, panelists acknowledge, and more revisions to the forecast.

    "Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013," says Pesnell. "But use a pencil."


    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news...oaaprediction/

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    Senior Member ₡₱♛'s Avatar
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    Thanks Reelshit

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    Senior Member mattmeyer's Avatar
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    no worries, the worlds gunna end in 2012.

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    Senior Member mafioso816's Avatar
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    lmfao no its not....and hope you dont believe that.....the calenders are off cause of leap yrs and a bunch of other shit......thats old news they said that that 2012 shit could be off by as many as 500-1000 yrs....so truth is noone knows when the worlds gonna end so stop worrying about and live life dont let it live you




    Quote Originally Posted by matt meyer
    no worries, the worlds gunna end in 2012.

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    Senior Member a tie a's Avatar
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    hey man he's putting it in the right section, so please don't be a dick about it. at least this is fairly interesting



    Quote Originally Posted by Cole
    Thanks Reelshit

  7. #7


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H8bnKdf654





    obviously NASA is fucking stupid since they didn't know there was a big ass transformer there. So, I'm not worried.

  8. #8
    Senior Member trevor's Avatar
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    exactly why we trippin about 2013 were gonna be gone before that.

    Quote Originally Posted by matt meyer
    no worries, the worlds gunna end in 2012.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ₡₱♛'s Avatar
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    LOLWUT YOU BE TROLLIN



    Quote Originally Posted by a tie a
    hey man he's putting it in the right section, so please don't be a dick about it. at least this is fairly interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole
    Thanks Reelshit

  10. #10
    Senior Member a tie a's Avatar
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    how



    Quote Originally Posted by Cole
    LOLWUT YOU BE TROLLIN


    Quote Originally Posted by a tie a
    hey man he's putting it in the right section, so please don't be a dick about it. at least this is fairly interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by Cole
    Thanks Reelshit

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