Solar advisory upgraded to Warning : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Subj: Solar Storm Warning Date: 6/7/2000 5:07:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time From: (NASA Science News)

Space Weather News for June 7, 2000

Following close on the heels of yesterday's two X-class solar flares, a third powerful X-class flare erupted today at approximately 1545 UT. Soon afterward, coronagraphs on the orbiting Solar and Heliospheric Observatory detected a faint full halo coronal mass ejection. It appears to be heading in the direction of Earth at ~800 km/s.

This latest full halo CME will probably extend the geomagnetic disturbances expected to begin on Thursday when an interplanetary shock wave spawned by a CME on June 6 collides with our planet's magnetosphere.

Aurora watchers are advised to be on the alert for Northern Lights beginning after sunset on Thursday, June 8.


Solar Storm Warning

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-- Lee Maloney (, June 07, 2000



Just posted two unknown power outages. Solar Flare? Looks like it is getting more serious.


-- Martin Thompson (, June 07, 2000.

Last updated: Friday 9 June 2000 NATIONAL NEWS

Another, smaller solar storm on its way just as first fizzles out: scientists


TORONTO (CP) - And then there were two.

The giant geomagnetic storm that hit Earth on Thursday was to dissipate just as another was blowing in Thursday after an eruption on the sun pushed a second cloud of plasma toward the planet, Canadian scientists said. The first storm was thrust into space during a massive eruption on the sun's surface Tuesday and arrived at the Earth's atmosphere at about 5 a.m. Thursday morning.

It was expected to hit hardest at dusk Thursday, the same day scientists with the Geological Survey of Canada in Ottawa discovered a second plasma cloud.

"These are rogue events," David Boteler, one of a team of scientists with the geological survey studying geomagnetic activity, said Thursday.

"There are a lot of factors that have to be in place for (geomagnetic storms) to occur."

The two storms are among an increasing number of solar flares as the sun reaches the peak of its 11-year cycle.

"Over the last year it hasn't been as active as it has been in the past," said Boteler.

"We've sort of been holding our breath, waiting for it to happen."

The second plasma cloud, believed to be smaller than the first, was expected to arrive late Thursday.

Geomagnetic storms occur when plasma clouds filled with charged particles hit Earth. The Earth's natural geomagnetic field blocks most of the harmful effects, but some particles still filter through, sometimes creating havoc for some technology.

Most storms are too small to be noticed, but larger storms can short out power systems, put pagers and cellphones on the fritz, and cause pipelines to blow.

By midday Thursday, as satellite firms, broadcasters and electrical companies braced for possible transmission blackouts and power outages, no problems were reported in Canada as a result of the storm, Boteler said.

The U.S. experienced only a few minor radio transmission blackouts.

Luis Marti, a supervising engineer with Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation's distributor, says protective equipment and extensive testing to power systems have all but eliminated the possibility of power outages due to the storms.

"We had a fairly decent (geomagnetic storm) in March and we went through it with flying colours," Marti said.

Telesat Canada, a satellite uplink company based in Ottawa, reported no problems with service. The company says its satellites are designed to accommodate solar storms without disruption to service.

And Rogers Cable, like many other companies relying on service from satellites, has back-up systems that will take over almost immediately if there is a problem, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

In 1989, during the sun's last cycle peak, a major solar flare knocked out power systems from James Bay to Montreal, leaving almost six million people in the dark for hours. It was the largest recorded flare to date.

Boteler said the current storms are not as severe as the one in 1989, but they are still considered serious.

"It's kind of like earthquakes," he said. "It's not quite as big as that (1989) one, but this one is up on the big scale."

In 1994 a geomagnetic storm destroyed circuits in the $296-million Anik E-1 satellite, leaving the craft unable to focus signals and causing havoc in Canadian TV, radio and data transmissions.

Since then satellite companies updated their technology to compensate for major solar storms.

The U.S. experienced massive pager disruption in 1996 because a solar storm knocked out satellite service. Most of Canada's pager and cellular systems are land-based and are not be affected by geomagnetic storms.

There is one benefit to major solar storms for those living in the more southern areas of Canada. The storms expand the northern lights, a natural atmospheric phenomenon that occurs mainly in northern parts of the world, to mid-range areas of North America.

It means they will be visible almost anywhere in Canada into the weekend, provided the skies are clear of clouds and observers are clear of big city lights, said Randy Attwood, president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

He says pictures from outer space show that the aurora borealis, known as the northern lights, is sitting "like a doughnut" over most of Canada.

"If you go out about a hour outside the city at about 11:30 or midnight, there's a good chance you'll see them," he said, cautioning that the northern lights are "as unpredictable as a weather forecast." mm&modulename=national% 20news&template=national&nkey=vs&filetype=fullstory&file=/cpfs/nationa l/000608/n060852.html

-- Martin Thompson (, June 09, 2000.

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