back to article Potent proton pulse to BOMBARD EARTH Tuesday morn

Late Sunday, the sun aimed a huge coronal mass ejection (CME) at our planet, along with a "solar energetic particle" event – the largest since September 2005 – which is expected to cause a solar storm of highly energetic protons to hit us on Tuesday at 9am Eastern Time, plus or minus seven hours. The solar storm, according to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't look at the light display in the sky, unless you want to wake up blind the next day and find that your geraniums have taken over the world.

    BTW — "...Tuesday at 9am Eastern Time..."

    What the hell does that mean in proper UTC/GMT? ie. the global standard —not bloody Moosejaw Creek, Arkansas time. I swear the Reg is getting more Americanised every day!

    1. Andus McCoatover

      Exactly what I was going to comment on!

      Put it in standard, internationally recognised time, please, El. Reg.

      Otherwise we'll all have to sit on a bridge over a stream, grow big ears, and play a banjo. Then 'squeal like a piggie'.

      (With apologies to the writer of "Deliverance")

      OTOH, as I live in Finland, I'll look forward to a grand night out. Once I figure out what "Eastern Time" means...

      1. BitDr

        Eastern Standard Time ...

        EST is UTC - 5, so add 5 hours to get UTC.

        You can get all time zone names and their UTC offsets here

        1. Vic

          > You can get all time zone names and their UTC offsets here

          No you can't.

          There's no mention of the Moosejaw Creek meridian there.


        2. Steve McPolin

          UTC - 5

          Does that mean it will hit England first? Will we know we are OK if blighty makes it through the night?

          1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

            @ Steve McPolin

            So if the proton burst causes the hungry dead to rise from their graves, they will be taking over London first! Y'all better get down to the Winchester Arms then!!

            Poor zombies, first they die, then they are re-animated but have nothing to eat but English food!

            And the downvotes!

            1. Vic

              > And the downvotes!

              What - after mentioning the Winchester?


        3. Jonathon Desmond

          yeah, thanks for that. Very useful.....

          ... Because even your own reference says that "EST" can be one of three different time zones, and doesn't even list "Eastern time". So which EST are you referring to? Why even mention EST, it's not mentioned in the article?

          As for the article, what is "Eastern time" anyway? The time in China?

          The standard use of GMT/UTC/Zulu removes all ambiguity.

          When I was back in Oz I pointed out to the ANZ bank their use of "EST" in their online banking service. Thing was, they kept using "EST" even when the times they were quoting were blatantly daylight (EDT) times. They changed to saying "Melbourne time" which at least removed the ambiguity.

    2. Dropper
      Thumb Down


      You can't be blinded watching the Northern Lights.. it's not the sun you're watching but a magnetic reaction to solar activity. The only possible harm you can get from watching the Northern Lights is to be beaten by your wife (or girlfriend) when you wake them up at 5am to watch it too.

      1. hplasm


        and you won't be killed by yer geraniums either....

        Did you hear that woosh?

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        The "Don't look" comment was a tiny humorous reference to the well-known science fiction story [The Day of the Triffids], in which carnivorous plants terrorise a population... that was mostly blinded by, well:

        "The narrative begins with Bill Masen in hospital, his eyes bandaged after having been splashed with droplets of triffid venom in a lab accident. During his convalescence he is told of the unexpected and beautiful green meteor shower that the entire world is watching. He awakes the next morning to a silent hospital and learns that the light from the unusual display has rendered any who watched it completely blind." Perhaps not straight away, or you'd stop. "Later on in the book Masen again theorises that both the 'meteor shower' and subsequent plague may have been an orbiting government weapons' system that was triggered accidentally." But, remember, he's a triffid farmer - or was - anyway, what does he know?

      3. Alfred


        Of similar note, one of the new kids at work had never seen Carpenter's "The Thing". Just what do they teach kids these days?

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
          Paris Hilton

          "Just what do they teach kids these days?"

          Too busy watching Paris....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Awesome idea

      We have el Reg units for everything else, let's use Moosejaw Creek, Arkansas as the official El Reg timezone.

      1. Notas Badoff

        North and West

        Y'all gots the wrong'a timezone state and country y'all doo. Y'all meant Moose Jaw, Sasskatchetoon. That'd be the centrawl zone of north America! Jes liek the blessed land of Arkansaw. Shoot, y'awl 'taint bin nowheres me thinks!

    4. Michael

      EST UTC - 5 hours

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

    5. Simon_E

      Will Universal Time do?

      14:18 UT* (+/- 7 hours), as per

      *call it GMT if you like...

    6. Big-nosed Pengie

      I suppose that should be "Americanized".

    7. Bob H


      I agree with the sentiment that it should have been at least followed by a UTC reference

      But! I must point out that Moose Jaw is located in Saskatchewan, Canada and is on CST-6.

    8. lawndart

      What is it in Owl Stretching Time?

      1. Matthew 25

        Owl Streching Time

        I think its ten past twoo

  2. N2 Silver badge


    where my lead pants?

    oh and please post GMT/UTC times, thank you

  3. Raz

    To all asking for UTC/GMT: that suits you because you are in the ol' UK, while for me EST is just fine. Why not use the Mongolian time, whatever that is, so that everyone will have to calculate something.

    1. NoDosh

      see that bit?

      It's not a badly spelled anagram.

      Just sayin'.

      1. LaeMing

        Even from Aus.

        I'd prefer GMT to be used. It is far easier to add the time adjustment from zero than some arbitrary offset where the article author happenes to live.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not to mention that we have an "Eastern" timezone here too. Well actually we have two of them, one with daylight savings and one without.

          When people quote random US based timezones they usually get the day wrong too. Not our fault them there Merkins live in yesterday.

          Hence I'll vote for UTC/GMT which is not the same as BaSTard time.

        2. Evan Essence


          Except, according to his byline, the author is in San Francisco, which is three timezones west of Eastern Time. So it's rather puzzling as to why he mentioned Eastern Time at all.

      2. Raz

        I was betting on this. I actually got here from :)

        1. Annihilator Silver badge
          Thumb Down


          "I was betting on this. I actually got here from :)"

          And you do know that .com doesn't mean "America", or even "United States of"? GMT/UTC is the International standard for recording time, it's not some prissy Brit thing - in fact funnily enough, GMT/UTC runs all the way down the prime meridian and is the time zone of many countries. It's also a lot easier to calculate from one reference point instead of two.

        2. Vic

          > I was betting on this. I actually got here from :)

          And what's in your address bar now - .com or ?


      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Badly spelled anagram?

        As the librarian might say, "ouck! ouck!"

        1. ObSolutions, Inc


          I think you'll find that the correct spelling is "ook", "oook" or even "eek"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why not use the Mongolian time, whatever that is, so that everyone will have to calculate something." Well the people who live in Monfolia wouldn't, there are people there you know. I know, there is no oil there, so you probably wouldn't have a clue...

  4. Harry the Bastard

    it's reg dot co dot U FUCKING K that's why it's G FUCKING M FUCKING T

    egads, the horror, the horror

    1. LaeMing

      Next they will want us to spell everything with a 'Zee'!

      1. TchmilFan

        ize/ise etc.

        -ize is actually original British English. We've only recently started using -ise, the burger eating warmongers have just hung on to it.

        Inspector Morse even uses it to solve a murder.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I tried to visualise this, and I'm pretty sure it violates the 'extreme porn' law.

  5. Nate H.


    And don't even get me started about Daylight Savings Time!

    1. LaeMing

      You mean,

      Night-time wasting?

  6. Steve McPolin
    Paris Hilton

    Solar Sails

    I'm sorry that my astro-physics is weak. I kind of understand that you can make a spacecraft go by pressure from particles emitted by the sun. Does this work like garlic - a little is good, so more is better? Can we make some sort of sail that takes advantage of these events? One day to mars is pretty intriguing.... Or would it just blow teensy holes through the sail and leave us ejecting the horses to try to get home?

    Paris, because I don't have a clue either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Solar sails

      Yes and no. You can make a solar sail, it will get thrust from the solar wind (and also from the sunlight falling on it), but the amount of thrust you will get is very small - you'd get more delta-V (more speed) from just putting the same mass of extra fuel on the craft as from the mass of the sail.

      It *might* work out better for a really long trip, say to Jupiter or further out, but not really as well to Mars.

      1. Big-nosed Pengie

        more delta-V = more speed?

        I thought delta V was acceleration.

        1. Dan 37

          I'd imagine delta V is 'rate of change of velocity', which could be acceleration but could equally be deceleration or simply change of direction.

          mine's the one with pedants weekly in the pocket

          1. Dan 37

            erm... not 'rate of change', just change in velocity. The point that it's not necessarily acceleration stands, just for different reasons.

            phew! think i got that in time to save my pedants club membership.

            1. Annihilator Silver badge


              It's not that hard to find out instead of guessing... It's not acceleration, nor deceleration (which is the same thing).


              1. Vic

                Re: Delta-v

                > It's not that hard to find out instead of guessing

                It's a delta, right, in the v, right, hence the name "delta v".



        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Delta V is acceleration

          So with more delta V you get more more speed.

          1. Dan 37

            yes, unless you get less speed.

            change in speed is not always the same as increase in speed. Still, acceleration can be positive or negative so that's ok. The real issue is that acceleration is change in velocity per second whereas delta v is simply change in velocity (or speed, delta v can generally be used as a scalar or linear quantity). So while delta V can't really be said to be acceleration we could probably get away with saying acceleration is delta v per second.

          2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Oh, noes

            Acceleration is dv/dt, a rate of change of velocity with time.

            Delta-v is (roughly) the scalar sum of velocity changes which happened on the way from one point to another.

            The difference between the two is like the difference between speed and distance traveled.

          3. John I'm only dancing


            With more delta V in the direction you are travelling, you get acceleration, more delta V in the opposite direction provides deceleration. Have none of you ever resolved forces?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The guy doesn't have a science background, folks....

        The person to whom I was responding obviously doesn't have a science background, so I was explaining the technical term (delta-v, over-all change in velocity) in a simpler way that somebody with a non-science background would get (more speed).

        Yes, "speed" and "delta-V" aren't the same. Neither is speed and velocity (one is a scalar value, one is a vector value). Neither are mass and weight. But when you are trying to explain something to somebody, you cannot use technical terms they don't understand and expect to actually be making progress.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mass Ejections?

    Haven't they banned those sites?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      That's Coronal Mass Ejections.

      This is where a young lad distracts the driver of the Corona truck while a gang of scallies nicks all the bottles off the back.

      1. TchmilFan

        "Corona truck"

        Blimey, back in the Neolithic, weren't they?

        mmmm, raspberryade and 2p for returned bottles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Careful there, you're really dating yourself. (Do you remember the bottles with the spring top and rubber washer?)

          1. Vic

            > Do you remember the bottles with the spring top and rubber washer?

            Do you remember the bottles with a glass marble inside, held closed only by pressure?

            I still have a couple of those...


        2. mccp


          It were 1/2d when I were a lad.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Premature Coronal Mass Ejection?

    It's not you, it's me. Never happened to me before.

  9. Fintan

    That goddamn evil sun

    "the sun aimed a huge coronal mass ejection (CME) at our planet"

    That Goddamn sun, always trying to fry our satellites or give us skin cancer.

    For the love of Jebus Reg, how alarmist can you get. The sun aimed...

    Next article - When Planets attack. Dan Dan DAAAAAAAAA

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: That goddamn evil sun

      WHEN PLANETS ATTACK - I like that a lot. That's saved into the headlines-for-future box.


  10. plrndl

    What's The Time?

    What's "9am Eastern Time" in real money? Since El Reg is an international publication, perhaps it's time to standardise on proper time, ie GMT/UTC.

  11. Peter Simpson 1
    Thumb Down


    Is pretty much in the middle of the day if you're in the UK, or after the sun's up on the east coast of the US, so neither of us will be seeing a lot of aurora, unless it hangs around until this evening...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It will be middle of the night here in Australia

      and given that it's summer in the southern hemisphere, shouldn't the south polar region get a better show?

      Last question is, can I be bothered to stay up to 1am to see if I can see the Aurora Australis?

  12. Greg J Preece


    Is going on QOTW and you know it! Such an explosion over the use of EST, you filthy Americanised scumbags, you!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time zone bigots

    For some of us, converting different time zones is no big deal - SOME of us live in a multi-national, multi-cultural world and realize that not everybody lives on the same slice of this round ball we all inhabit and will just do the damn conversions.

    Then there are the provincial folks who insist that everybody MUST do just like they do, because obviously THEIR way is the only true way - use the wrong time zone, or omit or change a letter to an accepted alternate spelling, and they take great offense.

    OK, so may I suggest to deal with those folks, let the Register use that horrible Swatch "beats time" - then EVERYBODY will be equally confused.

    Now, excuse me: it is my honor to color the zee axis of a chart, my UK counterparts are expecting it at 2PM CST, and I'm going to have to rent a car to get it to the office in time or they'll put me in the hospital.

    1. Vic

      > SOME of us live in a multi-national, multi-cultural world

      You're from MooseJaw Creek?


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...omit or change a letter to an accepted alternate spelling, and they take great offense..."

      I think you mean "offence"

      [and trust you pronounce it with the emphasis on the second syllable!]

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