Solar Flares: NOAA Says 80 Percent Chance Of Earth-Directed Eruptions Today

Tara Dodrill - Author

Oct. 28 2017, Updated 6:21 p.m. ET

Earth-directed M-Class solar flares have an 80 percent chance of impacting the planet today, according to NOAA forecasters. The national weather researchers also noted that a 50 percent chance of X-Class solar flares hitting Earth exists. Sunspot AR-1967 has moved into a position to make such coronal mass ejections possible over the course of the last few days.

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A photo from California amateur astronomer Sergio Castillo depicted the flurry of activity occurring on the Sun due to the active sunspot. The image Castillo deemed “just amazing” highlights a pair of magnetic filaments as they reach out from the active solar flare region. Sunspot AR-1967 is reportedly an unstable delta class magnetic field which harbors enough energy to produce strong solar flares. The sunspot is now located in the center of the solar disk, making an eruptions occurring today most likely Earth-directed.

Excerpt from a Space Weather report about Sunspot AR-1967:

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“Carried along by the sun’s 27-day rotation, big sunspot AR1967 is turning away from Earth. Ironically this is making the active region even more dangerous. AR1967 is moving toward a location where the sun’s spiraling magnetic field is well-connected to our planet and energetic particles can be funneled in our direction. An explosion there could spark a radiation storm around Earth.”

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An increase in solar flares near the peak of the 11-year Sun cycle shouldn’t but thought of as unusual, but since this solar maximum has been “noticeably mellow” scientists are taking note of the uptick in activity. The Sun remained unusually quiet over the summer months, prompting surprise among NOAA and NASA weather experts when multiple M-class and X-class solar flares began occurring on October 23. X-class flares are the most powerful solar storms.

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Scientists have only been able to view, track, and understand solar flares for about the last 20 years. The most powerful known earth-directed solar flare occurred during 1859 and is known as the Carrington Event. Telegraph lines, the most advanced technology at the time, burst into flames. If such a powerful event occurred today, life as we know it in America would cease for quite a long time. The United States does not manufacture the transformers necessary to bring the power grid back online.

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The Lights OutSaga movie trilogy, produced by Travis Fox, very accurately details how quickly the country would falter and how many lives would be lost, after such a catastrophic natural disaster. National Geographic’s American Blackout also examined an America without electricity.

In the film and prospective TV series, The Carrington Event, director/producer Rob Underhill paints a bleak picture of civilization turned barbarism just weeks after the short-out of the American electric grid. The grid failure is caused by a solar super storm that envelopes the planet.

Underhill had this to say about the recent increase in solar flares and the power grid:

“With the incredible increase of frequency of storms as well as the growing intensity, it is merely a matter of time until a storm the size of the historic Carrington Event of 1859 happens in modern time. So, when it does, we best be ready, or else I don’t have a show to put on the air… there’ll be no TV, no internet, not even mainstream radio to carry my show! It is heartening that more seriousness is being given this real threat. For one, I have hopes more solid good and planning will come out of the November 13 power grid drill.”


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