NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

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Moon
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NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Moon » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:48 am

It appears the doomsayers might have some of their information wrong:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/11/nasa-solar-flare-sunspots-earth-destroyed-end-of-the-world/1

"There simply isn't enough energy in the Sun to send a killer fireball 93 million miles to destroy Earth," NASA's Karen C. Fox reports in the release.

While solar activity is currently increasing in its standard 11-year cycle, this same cycle has occurred over millennia. So anyone over the age of 11 has already lived through such a solar maximum, with no harm, according to NASA.

However, NASA also notes that the next solar maximum is predicted to occur in late 2013 or early 2014, not 2012.

Additionally, it's also true that geomagnetic "storms" caused by solar activity can disrupt some radio communications, endanger satellites and even knock out power systems.

So being without our iphones, GPS devices, and Blackberries might seem like the end of the world to some folks, come to think of it.

Bob137

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Bob137 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:11 pm

Some other scientists have stated though that increased radiation can actually cause humans a lot of harm, and maybe even kill, whether NASA will acknowledge that or not, to me is irrelevant.

Moon
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Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Moon » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:09 pm

Bob137 wrote:Some other scientists have stated though that increased radiation can actually cause humans a lot of harm, and maybe even kill, whether NASA will acknowledge that or not, to me is irrelevant.


It is true massive amounts of radiation through direct exposure can be dangerous, especially since we have depleted some of the layers of protection through pollution. It is best to stay indoors when these events happen or limit one's outside time.

But for a flare to be a killer flare is not possible.

Bob137

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Bob137 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:14 pm

I agree, but the scientists that have been studying the sun now believe it is doing things they did not know it could do, and therefore cannot make actual predictions of everything that is possible for it to do, or will do. IMO this new activity of the sun has brought some amazing finds of our sun,a nd that it may be capable of more than we even imagine, good and bad. I may also be possible that it is the central point for a wormhole, (a theory of some, I forget who put that out). Also that it may be utilized by some that have advanced technology to travel from solar system to solar system. Similar to the Stargate theory, only instead of a device here on earth and many planets, the wormholes go from Sun to Sun with an intersection being the center of the Milkyway! This idea came about from so many objects, (possibly UFO or star ships), being spotted in photos from soho satellite images. Capricorny also posted on those last year.

Moon
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Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Moon » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:10 pm

I am one who also thinks the Sun could be an entity with intelligence. This could explain why everything is so perfect for the Earth and for life on it to thrive. There are still many mysteries about the Sun not yet known, it is true NASA does not know all the answers and can not be certain on this.

Bob137

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Bob137 » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:25 am

A NASA study says that solar storms and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) can erode the surface of a body and also strip it of its atmosphere. The study says CMEs might have caused loss of atmosphere by some planets unprotected by magnetic field.
CMEs are massive bursts of solar wind, plasma and magnetic fields rising above the solar corona and released into space. They are often associated with other forms of solar activity, including solar flares.
Science Daily says that a strong CME could contain about a billion tons of plasma traveling in a cloud many times the size of the Earth, at up to a million miles per hour.
The research led by Rosemary Killen at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., says our moon has a very sparse atmosphere called an exosphere, and it is very vulnerable to CME activity. When a plasma from a CME impacts on lunar surface, atoms from the surface of the moon are ejected in a process scientists call "sputtering."
The research team says their study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Planets, is the first attempt at studying the impact of CMEs on the lunar surface. According to William Farrell, leader of the team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/315710#ixzz1gLGWBuhy
Guess it can only harm moons with no atmosphere?

Moon
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Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Moon » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:35 pm

That is what they suspect happened to Mars (and possibly Mercury if it had an atmosphere at one time) in the distant past.

Venus, Earth, Jupiter and the other gas giants all have strong magnetic fields to protect them from the Sun. I would imagine Mercury gets the worst of it as it is so close to the Sun.

Pons Asinorum

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Pons Asinorum » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:13 pm

maxmercury wrote:That is what they suspect happened to Mars (and possibly Mercury if it had an atmosphere at one time) in the distant past.

Venus, Earth, Jupiter and the other gas giants all have strong magnetic fields to protect them from the Sun. I would imagine Mercury gets the worst of it as it is so close to the Sun.


Although true some suspect this is the cause of atmospheric loss (indeed this author explicitly states it), it is not true that Venus has a magnetic field (something like 15 millionths compared to ours).

Oddly, Venus has a much thicker atmosphere compared to ours and yet is subjected to much more intense CME's (by virtue of it closer location to the Sun).

As explained on a previous post IMHO, mass appears to be more of a mitigating factor at preserving an atmosphere than a magnetic field (Earth and Venus, which have relatively thick atmospheres, are much more massive than Mercury, Mars, and the Moon, which have trace atmospheres; and of all these, only Earth has a magnetic field).

CME's to the outer planets are not a factor except for those moons which do not enjoy a large mass and are not protected by their parent-planet's magnetic shield.

Bob137

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Bob137 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:40 pm

I was wondering then, if the outer planet's moons may be a little bit safer to explore on then, since they are farther from the Sun, and if possibly the Solar Flares disseminate more the farther out they travel. If so that would mean, that it is actually safer to explore and possibly mine on those moons, than our own.

Pons Asinorum

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Pons Asinorum » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:51 pm

In terms of CME's and cosmic bombardment from our Sun, IMO absolutely it would be safer. In fact, some of those moons are even within their parent-planets own magnetic field, and in such cases, not only is the intensity of a given CME greatly diminished, but what little effect it might have is further mitigated by the magnetic field of the parent-planet.

The only caveat is the van Allen Radiation Belts of the gas giants; not sure about those, but if strong enough, they could fry our probes if we lingered inside of them (and certainly us too). Not sure how many of these moons might reside there for a portion or all of their orbits.

But if mining is of prime concern, then our Moon should be fine if the miners are underground (same for Mars, Mercury and the larger asteroids).

Moon
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Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Moon » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:11 pm

So Mars being tiny had more of a role to play for its thin atmosphere than its core cooling down.

Pons Asinorum

Re: NASA: Killer Solar Flare Not Possible

Postby Pons Asinorum » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:25 am

maxmercury wrote:So Mars being tiny had more of a role to play for its thin atmosphere than its core cooling down.


I am not 100% sure Max, as to what factor should be weighted more. They both play a role -- the solar wind imparts energy to the molecules floating in the upper atmosphere, and if that energy is large enough, then those molecules will obtain escape velocity and leak into space.

Escape velocity is governed by the mass of the planet (the smaller the mass, the lower the escape velocity). A low escape velocity allows more molecules to leak into space and over time the atmosphere is diminished.

Without the protection of a magnetic field, there is no mitigating factor to prevent the application of the solar wind's full force, which would then impart more energy into the atmosphere and increase the loss rate.

I was debating this point with Believer on a different thread: http://www.legendarytimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5460&p=42771#p42771

With all that said, I looked at other low mass bodies in the solar system. It turns out that Saturn's moon Titan has a more dense atmosphere than the Earth's, yet it has a fraction of Earth's mass:

1.3E23 vs 5.97E24 or about 2% of Earth's mass.

This would imply that mass is not an important factor (not sure becasue there could be some sort of replenishment rate of atmospheric gases).

Yet Venus has no magnetic field and is much closer to the Sun, so one would expect the solar wind to have stripped it bare, a long time ago, but instead, it has an incredibly dense and thick atmosphere.

So you tell me ;-).

There are other moons like Titan, so I am preparing a question to "ask an astronomer" and upon receipt of a reply, will let you know what they think.


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