Monday, November 8, 2010

Sun Storms, "Solar Shield," and Getting Better Forecasts

"NASA's Solar Shield to Protect Power Grids From Sun Storms"
Nola Redd, (November 8, 2010)

"NASA has devised a new tool in the battle against massive eruptions from the sun: an early warning system to protect electrical grids on Earth from extremely powerful solar storms.

"The new project, called Solar Shield, is designed to predict the severity of powerful sun storms at specific locations on Earth to help power companies plan responses and limit the potential damage to their equipment.

" 'It amounts to knowing "something is coming and it may be big," ' said project leader Antti Pulkkinen, a research associate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., told But Solar Shield should provide 'much more specificity.'

"Massive sun eruptions

"The chief target for NASA's Solar Shield are huge sun eruptions called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, which can shoot off billions of tons of plasma and charged particles...."

The Lemming thinks that "Solar Shield" sounds cool - and is stretching metaphors rather much, considering that it'll be a sort of enhanced weather forecasting system for solar activity.

Still, "Solar Shield" sounds better, and is easier to remember than "enhanced weather forecasting system for solar activity." The acronym for my version would be "EWFSSA." Which sounds sort of like what someone might say, after biting into a bad burrito.

"Solar Shield" sounds like a good name, after all.

This is a good time to get better - more detailed/specific - predictions for CMAs headed our way. The sun is going into a more active part of its cycle, so more of those storms will be heading our way.

The 'so what' is that just about everything Americans do involves electricity: and when those charged particles hit our planet, they can play hob with the power grid.

It's not just blackouts we can expect: equipment can get damaged. According to the article, it could take months to get everyone back online.

Here in Minnesota, that wouldn't be good. Particularly if the months without power started around this time of year. It gets cold around here: Pretty soon, water in lakes and rivers around here will become a mineral.

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle online store

Pinterest: From the Man Behind the Lemming

Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts

Today's News! Some of it, anyway

Actually, some of yesterday's news may be here. Or maybe last week's.
The software and science stuff might still be interesting, though. Or not.
The Lemming thinks it's interesting: Your experience may vary.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Who Follows the Lemming?


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory