Solar flare peak expectations remain a concern for NASA and NOAA scientists. Sunspot AR1654 ejections are expected to “brush” Earth’s magnetic field. The coronal mass injection will likely create colorful auroras around the Arctic Circle.
AR1654 solar winds are creating similar auroras in the skies of northern Scandinavia, WND notes. Solar flares are expected to peak in 2013 and early 2014. The end of the sun’s 11-year cycle does not mean the end of solar flare concerns. NASA and NOAA reportedly feel the flares will continue into 2020.
Space images of AR1654 show the sunspot grow in early January, Space Weather reports. AR stands for active region. A coronal mass ejection is a burst of solar wind, isotope plasma, and magnetic fields. The sunspot reportedly began its decay on January 18.
The AR1654 sunspot reportedly reveals the potential for a solar storm maximum. Such a massive solar flare is not expected until the sun reaches the height of its 11-year cycle. If the Earth received a direct hit from a massive solar flare, the fiscal fallout could be equally enormous.
NASA had this to say about solar eruptions which occurred earlier this month:
“Magnetic forces drove the flow of plasma, but without sufficient force to overcome the sun’s gravity much of the plasma fell back into the sun. The length of the eruption extends about 160,000 miles out from the sun. With Earth about 7,900 miles in diameter. This relatively minor eruption is about 20 times the diameter of our planet.”
Some solar flares measure four times the size of Earth. If a massive solar flare hit Earth, up to $2 trillion in damages are expected. Civil unrest due to the collapse of the power grid are among the biggest fears for some researchers and preppers.