The solar dynamic observatory (SDO) has noticed a solar flare erupting from the surface of the sun and sending a great amount of electro magnetic energy directly towards earth. Such an event is similar to the projected disaster NASA has been warning about in 2013 but appears to have come a few years early. While the full extent of the event is largely unknown at this point, there are fears that either this event or a similar one in the near future could cause massive global change.
An electro magnetic pulse (EMP) is capable of knocking out electronics with particular danger to satellites and space shuttles. Since we depend so heavily on satellites now for our communications the endangered satellites could have a major affect on communication ranging from everywhere from simple cell phones to cable television going all the way up to military communications and finally weapons guidance systems. As every aspect of life is so largely dependent on complex electronics an EMP would not only render us without most technology we have today but would also make simpler technology difficult to acquire as it will have largely been outmoded and replaced by the newer more intricately designed devices.
While it’s common to hear doomsday threats every other day, it is particularly rare for a magnetic event of this size to come towards earth directly. While it’s not expected to cause a global shutdown of all electronics, it is certainly expected to have some effect later tonight. Though the extent of this is expected to be exaggerated by doom-sayers, since this is unprecedented there is no way of really knowing what its effect will be.
The Aurora Borealis is often caused by geomagnetic storms which cause the upper atmosphere to light up in brilliant colorful displays. During specific storms, especially during those of increased intensity these ‘northern lights’ can be seen in far lower latitudes and may even be visible in places where they had not been previously. The best places to be in order to catch the ‘northern lights’ are locations far away from light pollution from sources such as city lights, headlights and street lights. Rural settings would be ideal for viewing.
We have some idea of when the event is most likely to take place, according to NASA it is said that the earth will be hit by 4 waves of plasma: one late on Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning around 3am (EST), the next is estimated to occur sometime around noon to 1pm on Wednesday, the third will hit sometime around 8pm Wednesday evening, and the fourth will hit on Thursday at 2am. However, given that the waves are not moving in a perfect uniform manner it is difficult to pinpoint the exact time these events will occur.
Though the solar activity is happening earlier than previously anticipated, the coming solar storm in 2013 is expected to be far more dramatic, making whatever may occur during this event seem to be but a shadow of things to come.