More Powerful Solar Flares Coming Decade

Detail of Emaculate Contraption Gopalkrishnan 2012I noted this new coronal mass ejection as part of what will become a normal and disruptive occurance over the next 11 years. I have featured this in my painting The Emaculate Contraption because I think they will have an enormous affect on our environment. There are also no definitive tests that have been completed to assess the effect of this radiation on human physiology, which is why I have been doing drawings around the Fred and Matrushka dolls that are being used for such tests. I'm not sure if this is in anyway related to the savage heatwave we're experiencing here in Western Australia, but in a week of 40+ degrees C the mind is bound to wonder. Strong narratives in this issue.

I posted some Studio Notes about this in Will Solar Storms Awaken The Sol Invictus? (26 September 2011). There is going to be a lot more of this happening and I think it has a lot of metaphorical significance as a contrast to the way we are vulnerable, across all aspects of our lives, on electromagnetic stability.  In my painting below - The Emaculate Contraption - I started to introduce the concept of the coronal mass ejection as seen through a Blackberry phone [left].

Below are links to NASA education videos that explain this phenomenon.

Sun hurls strong geomagnetic storm toward Earth

"WASHINGTON, USA - The strongest geomagnetic storm in more than six years was forecast to hit Earth's magnetic field on Tuesday, and it could affect airline routes, power grids and satellites, the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center said.  A coronal mass ejection - a big chunk of the Sun's atmosphere - was hurled toward Earth on Sunday, driving energized solar particles at about 5 million miles an hour (2,000 km per second), about five times faster than solar particles normally travel, the center's Terry Onsager said.  "When it hits us, it's like a big battering ram that pushes into Earth's magnetic field," Onsager said from Boulder, Colorado. "That energy causes Earth's magnetic field to fluctuate." 

This energy can interfere with high frequency radio communications used by airlines to navigate close to the North Pole in flights between North America, Europe and Asia, so some routes may need to be shifted, Onsager said.  It could also affect power grids and satellite operations, the center said in a statement. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station may be advised to shield themselves in specific parts of the spacecraft to avoid a heightened dose of solar radiation, Onsager said.  The space weather center said the geomagnetic storm's intensity would probably be moderate or strong, levels two and three on a five-level scale, five being the most extreme."


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