There Be Aurora Here!

Well, up north there will be auroras.  On Saturday, the Sun spewed out a couple of planets worth of material in a coronal mass ejection (CME).

https://i1.wp.com/www.nustar.caltech.edu/uploads/images/site/coronal_mass_ejection.jpg

For comparison, the image above shows us versus the Sun.  As you can see, the Sun is always going to win.  Luckily for us we have a gravity/magnetic shield that protects us from the worst of the CME.  You may notice interruptions  in radio and television signals.

https://i1.wp.com/www.faa.gov/air_traffic/briefing/media/keeping_americas_skies_safe.png

An interesting fact that you may not know:  CME’s affect air traffic.  Because airliners travel so far up, they, and in particular their passengers, are very susceptible to the radiation from a CME.  Air traffic alerts happen every time a CME or solar flare is predicted to strike the Earth.  Usually, air traffic is diverted from the norther routes, but in some cases, flights are canceled until it is safe.

https://i2.wp.com/eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/6000/6226/aurora_img_2005254.jpg

And you thought that CME’s just made pretty light shows.

Tomorrow, I’ll go into more detail about the asteroid headed for Earth!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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