back to article Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow today!

Astroboffins are warning that a mighty "eruption" of superhot plasma has been blasted out of the Sun directly at the Earth. The plasma cloud is expected to reach Earth beginning tomorrow today, possibly causing strange phenomena - including a mighty geomagnetic storm which could see the Northern Lights aurorae extend as far …


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  1. DJ 2

    Earth's magnetic field.

    What does this switch do..

    "Earth's Magnetic Field Offline"

    - Tinfoil hat and shades in the pocket.

    1. The Nameless Mist
      Paris Hilton

      press the button

      Putting a switch on a pedestal and marking it "DO NOT PRESS - WILL CAUSE END OF ALL LIFE ON PLANET"

      Guarantee you will get someone going "oh .. what does this do?"

      {Paris -- because she'd probably push it for the publicity}

      1. Doshu
        Paris Hilton

        Sweet sun showers

        Fire washes the skin off the bone and the sin off the soul. It cleans away the dirt.

        And my momma didn't raise herself no dirty boy.

        Um.. maybe I've been playing too much.

        (Paris because she's dirty)

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Don't panic

      It caused the phrase "please do not push this button again" to light up black in black letters on a black background.

      Mines the one with the large pocket with the guidebook with the words "Don't Panic" in large, friendly letters on the front.

  2. max allan

    When tomorrow?

    Is there a time estimate? I'm assuming it would be either early morning or late evening, but I don't fancy waking up at 4AM if it's not going to happen till 10PM...

    1. lonelycheese15

      Re: (untitled)

      They say they won't know what time it's going to happen until an hour beforehand. They have to wait for the blast to pass the satellite that's sitting between the Earth and the Sun.

    2. lonelycheese15

      Re: (untitled)

      They say they won't know until an hour beforehand.

      1. Wize

        Wheres the best place to look... get our 1 hour warning of the end of the world?

  3. lecson


    For a techy publication you really should try to rise above Daily Mail standards once in a while, you know.

    1. Richard 81

      Speaking as a boffin

      ...albeit a chemistry related one, I have no problem with the term.

      It's pretty old fashioned.

    2. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Boffins?

      We always say 'boffins'. When has the Mail ever said 'boffins'? What's it to yer?

      It always amuses me when commentards shake their heads sadly and say they expected so much more of us. Why? Surely you should know us by now. Don't try to change us, baby.

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

        Boffins? Hell...

        ...I learned the word here.

        And another for Ms. Bee, please.

      2. genome

        RE: Re: Boffins?

        oh sarah...

        *shakes head sadly*

        i expected so much mo...

        bah who am i kidding :p

      3. Naughtyhorse

        dunno about the mail...

        but the sun once charaterised the late lamented Dr Kelly - killed by MI5 as " Tragic Boffin, Dr Kelly"

    3. hplasm

      You must be new here?


  4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Note to self: 'Solar flares' is a valid excuse for any software bugs discovered tomorrow.

    1. SonnyJimm

      title required

      Hey of your updates has left my PC with a BSOD...

      Hey, random pc user, that isn't our fault, didn't you know that the sun has just blown's the sun's fault!

      1. Munchausen's proxy

        It's been a while

        I'm pretty sure that 'solar flares' was one of the first entries mentioned in the very early documentaries of the BOFH's Rolodex of excuses.

        1. DrunkenMessiah

          Sure was, I read it again last week!

          See here:

    2. Daniel B.


      This means I can actually use that Excuse Calendar entry tomorrow!

      Good thing, I was running out of credible excuses...

  5. LuMan


    "a huge solar pimple so large as to be visible without the aid of a telescope."

    Well, I tried to look, but couldn't see anything that looked like a pimple. So I used my binoculars. Now I can't see anything at all. Bloody great bit of advice, that.

    Mine's the one with the Braille keyboard in the pocket....

    1. envmod

      he he he


    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward

      should have used a telescope...

      "do not look into sun with remaining eye"

    4. rcdicky


      I don't normally put out such useless replies - but LOL :P

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    tin foil hats on though methinks

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Whatever you do dont watch it!

    .. Or you will go blind and then a bunch of plants will eat you!

    1. neb

      plants, meh!

      this'll end up being start of world war Z once that there solanum causes the dead to rise

      i'm off home to sharpen my machete and make sure my 'bug out bag' is fully packed,

      then chuck some diesel in the car and drive off to castel caerfilthy

      oh and cwtch the kids before we're all eaten alive

      fucking zombies!

      1. 0dd84ll

        might not be zombies, could be triffids

        I for one will not be looking at the sky

        Bill Mason

    2. Lee Dowling Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      Quick! Everybody to the Isle of Wight. Actually... I'm not sure what's worse - being rendered blind and then eaten by sentient plants, or having to live on the Isle of Wight for the rest of your life....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        they already are...

        its Cowes week.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Normally a blast of radiation like this could be expected to wipe out much of the human race, but fortunately we are protected by the Earth's magnetic field.

    Ah lucky then we completed that magnetic field last week... who says the current gov doesnt know what they are doing.

    1. StephenD


      Quite -- an interesting use of the word "normally" which I wasn't previously aware of.

      1. rcdicky

        Glad I'm not the only one who thought that statement a bit odd...

        Not glad I'm the last one to comment on it though :P

      2. Gav

        Normality be damned!

        You are too generous, sir. I was rather fed up with the human race getting wiped out every time this happened, and it's well past time the government did something about it.

        Why, I have letters written by my grandfather to The Times over 70 years ago on this very matter, and it's taken until now to remedy the matter? It doesn't bear thinking about the number of times life on Earth has been eradicated, whilst the fat cats in government have been sitting on their fat behinds doing nothing. For shame!

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. You aint seen me right?

    Attack of the...

    Time to lock a sighted person in the nearest basement and keep some handcuffs close to hand just in case...

  11. Wize

    Must be a very good aim... hit us from that distance away.

    Just hope their calculations are correct it will be deflected by the magnetic poles. Aren't they due to go funny and invert soon?

    Factor 50000 sunblock anyone?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Please tell me you haven't been watching 'The Core'

      Where to start with what's wrong in that film, from a technical and/or scientific point of view.

      The geomagnetic field has been known to periodically invert itself; the record of this in the orientation of magnetic fields in igneous rocks provided evidence for plate tectonics. It is thought to be a fairly slow process (taking perhaps thousands of years), the lack of mass extinctions corresponding to magetic field inversions would seem to suggest that it isn't ever actually zero at all over this time. More likely, it changes direction, or becomes chaotic beofre stabilising again with the opposite orientation.

      Note also, that the sun itself flips its magnetic field much more often, giving rise to the approximately 13 year solar cycle; this leads to the 'termination shock' where the sun's magnetic field meets the interstellar magnetic field at a distance varying somewhat between around 75 to 90 AU. This is known as the heliopause, is analogous the the Earth's magnetopause and protects the solar system to a certain extent from cosmic radiation in the same way as the manetopause protects us from solar radiation. Therefore, in the event of an inversion of the Earth's magnetic field, we would expect the magnetic bubble around the Earth to shrink somewhat but to carry on protecting us.

      1. Peter Kay

        The Core is a fun film

        The keys to watching The Core are 1) alcohol 2) not taking

        it seriously and 3) predicting what will obviously happen.

        Yes, it's completely unscientific and predictable, but thats

        the point. It's very clear from watching it that the writers

        know that it's completely un-scientific and decided to ham

        it up to annoy pedants anyway.

    2. Chris Miller

      Inversion currently under way

      At least, that's the opinion of quite a few geomagneticians (if there isn't such a word, there is now!) Certainly the magnetic poles are wandering rather drunkenly around the polar regions, which may or may not be typical behaviour.

      But, as LC points out, nothing to lie awake at night worrying about. BTW the solar cycle is just under 11 years - 21 years if you allow for the need to go from N/S to S/N orientation and then back again. But, as the latest cycle demonstrates, it's not quite as regular as it might be.

      1. Goat Jam


        "Certainly the magnetic poles are wandering rather drunkenly around the polar regions, which may or may not be typical behaviour."

        Are we sure that this isn't something to do with human activity? Too many Hummers in the Northern Hemisphere perhaps?

        Come to think of it, maybe there is a research grant or two on offer. People have a right to know!

        1. AndrueC Silver badge

          I want a research grant..

 study 'polar squirming'.

          I haven't worked out what the cause is yet - it may depend on who offers me the best grant.

  12. envmod

    i saw the borthern lights once in the UK

    it was about twenty years ago and was spectacular. i'll be looking out for this tomorrow!

    1. lawndart

      Oooh pretty

      Were you, by any chance, just north of Aberystwyth at the time?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oooh pretty

        He might not have been just north of Aberystwyth at the time, but I certainly was - was during either the second or third year of my first degree (studying planetary physics, no less)

        It's *very* rare to see aurora that far south, and fairly rare in the UK as a whole, although I've often seen 'airglow' (aurora's little brother) in the far North of Scotland.

        I took some long-exposure photographs which, if I recall, came out quite well. Wonder if I've still got them ...

    2. BlueGreen


      but (@lawndart) in the midlands. Wouildn't call it spectacular as such. More odd. Started as a glowing cloud low on the horizon which slowly spread to be a soft glowing cloud-ribbon all round and just above the horizon. Later streaks from this developed up towards the centre of the sky above where a sharp-edged 'break' shape developed.

      No fast movement, took hours, all very slow, no particular colours, just glows, clouds, streaks. It was confirmed next day on the news as an aurora.

    3. QuiteEvilGraham

      #i saw the Northern lights once in the UK

      Me too,

      Driving north up the new M24 about 30 miles past the border, circa 1990ish. About the middle of June at about 3ish in the morning. Huge, amazing, colossal green curtains in the sky, shimmering and flickering. Utterly awesome. I dug my ex-wife, who was asleep in the passenger seat, in the ribs, and mentioned the fact.

      "Oooh, what's that?". Bloody network specialists!!

    4. SteveK

      Me too!

      I also saw them around 20 years ago, somewhere between '88 and '90 at a guess. Down south, in Hampshire. Probably around 9-10pm and it was dark so not in the summer. Big curtains and rays of purest green. Very impressive. Have been planning to make a trip somewhere likely to see them again, but am now hoping if I procrastinate long enough they'll come to me instead!


      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Bonus points

        Bonus points for spotting the Blackadder reference in SteveK's post.

        1. The Ref


          for a nugget of purest green.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any effect on IT systems etc?

    is this a potential electrical/electronic systems wipeout event? Any boffins care to comment/advise?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Shakje


        You're going to feel pretty dumb if that all happens.

    2. Richard Scratcher

      Any effect on IT systems etc?

      Solar storms can affect electronic systems and might knock-out mobile phone networks. If this turns out to be a really big storm (like the one in 1859) then anyone lucky enough to own an iPhone 4 should be able to watch lightning dance around its antennas (unless you've fitted one of those rubber bumpers).

      1. Arctic fox

        Re: Any effect on IT systems etc? Under those circumstances ......

        ...........the iPhone 4 owner may discover that term "death grip" has a reality he has so far been unwilling to concede and that he has indeed purchased a "jesusphone" inasmuch our lucky fanboy is now a lot closer to Him than he was expecting to be.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        It's already effecting my satellite carrier.

        Astro sucks as is when they don't listen to their viewers and a teeny bit of rain knocks the system offline temporarily. But over the last two days the bloody decoder has been glitching out far more than usual, and on bright sunny days to boot.

  14. Red Bren

    I for one

    Welcome our sol<CLICK> NO CARRIER

  15. Craig 12


    What time are we looking out the window?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So...

      "What time are we looking out the window?"

      Night time.

  16. Hugh Jorgen


    Is it a good or bad day to put the washing out tomorrow? I don't want to have to wash solar particles off my y-fronts if it can be avoided.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Last bit of activity

      was many years ago for you too, yes?

      1. Hugh Jorgen
        Paris Hilton


        ...on whether 'self pollution' counts as activity. If so then I just wiped my hands and started typing straight after......

        Paris - mmmmm, hyperactive, brb.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    ...we're all is fragile...etc, etc

    Doomed I tell ya! Doooooooooooooooooooooomed!

    Oh wait - shit like this happens all the time.

    "...a huge solar pimple so large as to be visible without the aid of a telescope."

    Yeah, lets all stare and squint at the sun to see if we can spot it. You go first.

  18. Mako

    Niven fan?

    I'm liking the crafty Lucifer's Hammer reference!

    1. Chris Miller
      Thumb Up

      Larry rules!

      But are you thinking of 'Inconstant Moon', perchance?

      1. Mako

        Pretty sure it was Lucifer's Hammer.

        The quote comes from one of the guys on the space station, pointing a telescope in the direction of the comet.

        I just googled the entire phrase and most of the top references agree.

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Might be a better story to choose

        Don't think the reference comes from there but obviously it's a more relevant story at the moment. If anyone sees any bright moons they should expect a hurricane. They might also want to smirk and say 'ha HA' in a Nelson Muntz kind of way :)

        Ah, Lucifer's Hammer. A surprisingly good read although showing it's age a bit. Isn't there a quote early in the novel where the main protagonist threatens an 'eco-journalist' by telling them that if they mention ozone depletion he'll throw up in their lap?

        LN didn't quite get the science right there :)

        Paris:Because she's probably seen a few bright moons in her time.

    2. Chris Miller

      Sorry to be a pain

      It's my day for being a bit dim - good you point me to the reference.

      Thanks (and apologies to those not Niven fans for whom this must be rather tedious).

  19. Tigra 07

    Woo Hoo!

    A day off!

    Sorry, can't come into work today because the northern lights melted my house


    See you in the pub!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Chortle keyboard please.

  20. adnim


    pretty lights in the sky, another benefit could be the destruction of several spy satellites and hopefully all of Sky TV's satellites. The downside to this being the taxpayer will foot the bill for the spy satellites. I see no downside to the destruction of Sky TV satellite infrastructure.

  21. Pahhh
    Thumb Up

    @Whatever you do dont watch it! #

    That was exactly my thoughts.

    Gone right off astro phenomina after watching Day of Triffids.......

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Magnetic field generator will be unavailable Wednesday due to scheduled maintenance

    "Normally a blast of radiation like this could be expected to wipe out much of the human race, but fortunately we are protected by the Earth's magnetic field" - what, and "Normally" the Earth's magnetic field would be switched off or something?!

  23. Fr. Ted Crilly Silver badge


    Triffid anyone?

  24. Anonymous Coward


    "...countries such as the UK which are normally too far south to see the Lights"

    So Scotland is no longer part of the UK? Blimey - when did that happen?

    1. Chris Miller
      Thumb Up

      when did that happen?

      Soon, baby!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        not soon enough baby

        that said, I;m a lot happier with the concept of porridge-botherers now they're not in charge any more.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          I daydream with the idea on occasion, wondering who will win - whether the Scots will take over our morris-dancing neighbours by stealth & occupy all positions of power before the English kill them first with fish and chips, cider & full english breakfasts.

          It's a close run thing to be honest.

          1. Monty Burns

            pah ... we are no match!

            Our "full English" is no match for your "deep fried everything". You win.....

            And I for welcome our new Scotish Overlords....

            1. lglethal Silver badge

              What do you mean new?

              Have you checked the queens lineage recently?

  25. Nat Pryce

    5th August: apart from a few scattered survivors, all of humanity are blind

    ...and fall prey to shambling carnivorous plants (and Eddie Izzard's overacting).

  26. jef_

    Cool! (an affectionately irreverent title, but still ultimately pointless)

    Anyone know what sort of time to look for this? I've got a good North facing view so would like to have a look out. Just don't want to stay up all night!


  27. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "Boffins"

      Oh shut up.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        As someone with a scientific and technical education, I have no objection to being referred to as a boffin. If you've really got nothing worse to whinge about, you must have a pretty comfortable life.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          How about geeks??? Nerds???

          'People with technical educations to degree level' aint going to sell to the kind of audiance the buy the Sun.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        lol ---

        My, my, we're tetchy today! Commentards got you down?

        But I agree with you.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Meeeeooooow!

          >But I agree with you.

          Well then. Don't you 'meeeeeoooow' at me.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Page 3

        All hail the Moderatix!

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Nice one.

    QSY 144.370 and beaming north.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Roger Old Man....

      ....your are 5 7 aurora, I say again you 5.5 aur.ror.ror.ror.a.a.a.a


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Fine business old man, but why are you whispering?

        qrz :-)

  29. iMlite

    Been there before.

    I remember the last one about 10 years ago. A friend who was living in rural Cambridgeshire rang saying that the sky to the North was aglow. Living in London I couldn’t even see the waxing moon, let alone any strange sky glow, so I drove Northwards reaching a very rurally bit of Hertfordshire, on a rise looking Northward. The sky was aglow with a white light as if a string of floodlights lay just below the horizon, and within the glow there was what appeared to be dancing crimson fireflys!

    For the following few days there were power brownouts, lots of complaints of poor network communications and periodic comms drop outs. The most interesting aspect was the wide range of UFO stories, large number of conspiracy theorists with mind control and secret experiments, and the fact that most people didn’t know or care what was happening.

  30. Mark Rendle

    Insufficient data

    What time might we see stuff in the UK?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aurora Storm -

    What a load of absolute twaddle!

    It was a minor C-class flare that will NOT be visible in the UK.

  32. johnnytruant

    aurora watchers may be interested

    in this page:

    which has fairly up to date info on polar auroral activity.

    here's hoping for a bit of a show in the UK tonight/tomorrow.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Sun

    "Can we please be spared language more suitable for The Sun."

    But everyone knows The Reg is just The Sun for IT readers...

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Umm, wrong (I think).

      The Earth rotates around the sun at a rate of 360 degrees per year. The ejection happened on Sunday, if it is due to hit the Earth on Wednesday, that means it would have to have been ejected at approximately 3 degrees off a direct line drawn through the Earth, SOHO and the Sun.

    2. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      It's Not A...

      ...rifle, or even a shotgun. It's more like a grenade, if you can see it, it will hit you.

  35. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    We Can Expect Major...

    ...disruptions to electrical transmission as well as both wired and wireless communications.

    Although the majority of the particles will follow the lines of magnetic force to the poles, the electromagnetic fields will propagate everywhere. IT and power people should be sure staff is at hand to deal with EMP-like events.

    There are several excellent photos of the sunspot at:

    And a movie at:

    Choose Sunday's date, and download the last one on the list. At about 06:00UTC in the playback you will see the explosion begin.

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      Even Better Movie... here:

      The sunspot apparently was the energy pump. As noted above, the solar flare was a mere C-3 event, but the movie clearly shows how it triggers an ejection of plasma.

  36. blackworx
    Dead Vulture

    Not normally visible in the UK

    Aurorae are genuinely frequent in Orkney and Shetland and certainly not uncommon on the northern mainland given a decent dark sky. Are these places not part of the UK any more?

    Nitpicking I know, but it's essentially identical to saying Eurostar doesn't normally get as far as the UK.

    Ok, bad example.

  37. envmod

    if you can't see them

    just pretend you can.

  38. Uk_Gadget
    Paris Hilton

    Re The Core

    Excellent film, nearly as real as Independance Day..

    Paris, Cos We Both Like Looking At Perwitty Things..

  39. Anonymous Coward

    one last blast from Sun

    Microsystems ;-)

  40. Irp

    The Northern Lights of Auld Aberdeen

    All Together now....

    The Northern Lights of Auld Aberdeen are what I long to see

    The Northern Lights of Auld Aberdeen that's where I long to be.


  41. Paul A. Walker

    Great, I'm on a plane tomorrow...

    ..flying the length of England. Mine's the one with the parachute on the back.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Slow plane

      You're on a plane all day flying the length of England? What is it - an aerial survey or powered by a rubber band?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Its Eastern Airway's very own Hamster

        called Gerald. He's a very well behaved hamster, but can run out of puff every so often (he's getting on a bit) so they slow down and glide for a while.

        A pint for Gerald!

  42. Refugee from Windows
    Thumb Up

    Generator on standby then

    No fear from this one, but of course I will dust off the old "290" and point an antenna north for some auroral action, and waiting for the next few days of enhanced propagation on HF.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      forget HF

      Siwtch on your electic handbag and listen out at top end of 4.300. Last time I heard Aurora 2m sounded like 20

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Enhanced.... the same way that a flame thrower can enhance your suntan. This is quite likely to totally screw up the F layers and do away with much HF propagation.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        yep quite likely to see a Sudden Inospheric Disturbance on HF following a large flare. Time to QSY to 6m and up. Even 4m seems to be buzzing at the moment according to dxsummit.

  43. fcnewt

    Global Warming

    this hot plasma sounds like the death knell for the earth. Am I wrong? this could push the globe to warm up even more I think. Any suggestions of what we should do to prepare? Can this affect the floods in Pakistan I have been reading about?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plasma warming

      You can go back to the PCC now - there is no funding for you here.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ....nothing like that will happen, nor has happened even when much larger solar flares and CMEs have hit the earth's atmosphere in the past.

      This is entirely normal behaviour for our star....

  44. ian 22

    Help Stop the Tragedy of CME!

    CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) are the greatest threats humanity faces!

    <insert piccy of pitiful child here>

    Help us bring CME under control! Send your donation to:

    CME Foundation

    23 Olatunge Road

    Lagos, Nigeria

    Credit cards only, please.

    1. Chris 35



  45. moonface

    Can't be too careful.

    Any actuaial Boffin's know the odds on the Earth's Magnetic Field Flipping poles, at the very same time, at which the plasma cloud hits?

    I have checked my household insurance policy and I do not think my new TV, is covered by this peril!

  46. Frederick Karno

    At Last how do we see it through the cloud again ???

  47. Bob Sanders

    Set the controls for the heart of the sun

    You can see pictures people taken of the sun spot and some movies of the event from this site:

  48. Llanfair

    What if it's cloudy?

    The weather forecast looks like it will be cloudy for most of the UK. I guess we will see nothing then.

    1. Benchops

      You will see


      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Not necessarily...

        Not if this is a Day of the Triffids type event! Then you wont see anything.... ever... again...

  49. Red Bren

    Remain Indoors

    Is this "The Event" that Mitchell and Webb have been warning us of?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Unless infected of course.

      Anonymous Male 84.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      But whatever happens it will still be a fucking sight funnier than Mitchell and Webb

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's worse than that he's dead Jim!

    This is the kind of thing that fascinates me. A once in 11 years event occurs that can be analysed by "new" technology and ergo a new understanding of our (universe so big even if you lived for a million years you still wouldn't understand the grand scheme of it)

    Did I mention that this stuff facinates me. Only a couple more events and I'll be dead

  51. Anonymous Coward

    "No kaboom? But there was supposed to be an earth shI&^!E(! <No Carrier>


    2012 and all that.

    Surely the Mayans can't have been off by two years, right?

    (dons tinfoil hat)

    AC, because there won't be any after this "event"...

  52. Sir. Bernard Forsythe Dunstable Montague

    The Day Of ...

    and then the following morning g we all wake up blind and the Trffid's escape ?

    1. Martin


      That's at least three times that joke has been made...

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Comparison with Canada 1989 ? See also 2003 storms.

    How does this outburst relate to others in recent decades. E.g. in Canada in 1989 there was widespread disruption...

    "However, it wasn’t until the HydroQuebec Power Grid blackout in Quebec, Canada, in March of 1989 that the world truly realized the extent to which solar storms can impact the economy. The solar storm induced a nine-hour blackout which affected 6 million customers and ultimately cost this power company more than $10 million — putting the cost of this disaster in the same category as hurricanes and earthquakes (and this does not include the estimated cost to its customers, which was in the tens — if not hundreds — of millions of dollars) (Windows to the Universe Team, 2000). Additionally, Public Service Electric and Gas in New Jersey suffered serious damage to two of its transformers. It cost PSE&G eight million to replace the transformers and the cost of replacement energy during the time the transformers were taken out of service was approximately $16.8 million, so the net cost for PSE&G was over $24 million. Together, this single space weather storm cost Hydro Quebec and PSE&G more than $30 million. "


  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky Italia channels out?

    Just a coincidence maybe, but a load of channels on our sky Italia digibox have just gone down, could this be a fault caused by the solar flare?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      could this be a fault caused by the solar flare?

      no, just good luck

  55. Hardmilk

    Sam Bell, reporting to Central...

    Searching for long-range comms.

    Searching for long-range comms.

    Signal failure on long-range comms.


    Oh snap....

  56. Anonymous Coward

    nothing happened

    today would had been a great day to leave work early.

    1. Adam Salisbury
      Thumb Up

      He only said it arrives today

      There's still plenty of time for the reanimation of the deceased, mass blinding and carniverous plant attacks (and possibly the formation of some new breed of superhero). Maybe you won't be out until lunch but at least that means you've got enough time to use the old "solar flares" excuse with the next customer/luser!

  57. BongoJoe


    Living in North Wales we have no need of the Magnetosphere as we're protected by things such as the sun catching fire by banks of rain clouds.

    So, whilst the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is being overrun by large shuffling plants we're all safe and sound in our wellingtons and sou'westers.

    Is anyone out there? Perhaps we're the only ones left alive...

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Yawn... they are seen in the UK nearly every year

    Having lived in Shetland - part of the UK - we would see them almost every winter

  59. Mike Tubby

    First CME hit approx 1-2AM

    There was a weak aurora around 1-2AM local time this morning that didn't amount to much.... few ham radio signals from Scandinavia were copyable here in Blighty.

    This page:

    has a useful "Aurora Activity" diagram approx half way down the page which is built up from statistical information gathered from satellites by NOAA.

    Bottom of the page has a colour world map that shows the extent of the auroral oval - two bright green lines at the stop of the map.

    Mike G8TIC

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yep hit the states around 2300 utc last night.

      K1SIX 70005.0 WE9XFT/B Full AURORA solid in FN43 2310 03 Aug

      been building all day on 6, 4 and 2m over North America and Europe. Keep beaming north OM :-)

      G0KSC 70029.0 S55ZMB 529 4m OPEN! 0758 04 Aug

      GM4JYB 70035.0 OY6BEC IO88HP<AUR>IP62 55a 1428 04 Aug

      G8HGN 144041.0 GM4VVX JO01FO<AU>IO78TA 1457 04 Aug

      1st 2m transatlantic copy heard around an hour ago

      G8HGN 144033.0 WHO JO01FO<AU> CQ 31A hrd 1524 04 Aug United States

      also open on 6m

      GD0TEP 50090.0 GM4DZX IO89lb 55a 1539 04 Aug

      Still building - should be fun later on tonight when more operators are on.

  60. General Pance


    It's forking cloudy though, innit?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody weather.

    Rainy cloudy crappy for at least the next 72 hours according to the met orifice.*

    On a less whingy note it is often possible to see the northern lights from the mainland UK. We are talking northern Scotland, but it's still the UK.

    * What do they know? The sun came out as I was typing.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


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