Extreme Super (Full) Moon to Cause Chaos?

Accuweather.com
Mar 1, 2011

Coming up later this month (March 19 to be exact) the moon will make its closest approach to Earth (called lunar perigee) in 18 years. A new or full moon at 90% or greater of its closest perigee to Earth has been named a “SuperMoon” by astrologer Richard Nolle. This term has been recently picked up by astronomers. An extreme “SuperMoon” is when the moon is full or new as well as at its 100% greater mean perigee (closest) distance to earth. By this definition, last month’s full moon, this month’s and next month’s will all be extreme “SuperMoons”.

Please visit Richard’s website by clicking here.

I have read several “new age” forecasts that go something like this: “Extreme SuperMoon this month (March 2011) will bring strong earthquakes and storms and/or unusual climate patterns.” Google the term ‘extreme SuperMoon March 2011’ and see for yourself what comes up. The validity of these types of forecasts can be debated ad nauseum.

There were SuperMoons in 1955, 1974, 1992 and 2005. These years had their share of extreme weather and other natural events. Is the Super Moon and these natural occurences a coincidence? Some would say yes; some would say no. I’m not here to pick sides and say I’m a believer or non-believer in subjects like this, but as a scientist I know enough to ask questions and try to find answers.

We obviously know that there are scientific laws that say the moon affects the Earth (i.e. tides). There are also less proven theories that propose that the moon affects the Earth in other ways (i.e. abnormal behavior during a full moon). Can the Super (full) Moon contribute to extreme weather and other natural phenomenon?

AccuWeather Facebook fanpage member Daniel Vogler adds, “The last extreme super moon occurred was on January 10th, 2005, right around the time of the 9.0 Indonesia earthquake. That extreme super moon was a new moon. So be forewarned. Something BIG could happen on or around this date. (+/- 3 Days is my guess)”

So what can we expect this time? Earthquakes? Volcanic eruptions? I guess we can only wait and see.

AccuWeather Facebook Fanpage member Daniel Vogler both contributed and inspired this blog. Many thanks go out to him. If there are further questions about this subject, please bring them up and I will make sure they get directed to him since I will unashamedly say he knows more about this subject than I do. I just wanted to bring this subject matter up to see what people think.

Please join the AccuWeather Astronomy fanpage by clicking here. You can leave your comments there as well and be part of a discussion on this or any other astronomy subject.

NASA: Solar flares from ‘huge space storm’ will cause devastation

Telegraph

Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation “space storm”, Nasa has warned.

National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working.

National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years.

Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken.

Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs.

Due to humans’ heavy reliance on electronic devices, which are sensitive to magnetic energy, the storm could leave a multi-billion pound damage bill and “potentially devastating” problems for governments.

“We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Richard Fisher, the director of Nasa’s Heliophysics division, said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

“It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigations, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world.

“Large areas will be without electricity power and to repair that damage will be hard as that takes time.”

Dr Fisher added: “Systems will just not work. The flares change the magnetic field on the earth that is rapid and like a lightning bolt. That is the solar affect.”

A “space weather” conference in Washington DC last week, attended by Nasa scientists, policy-makers, researchers and government officials, was told of similar warnings.

While scientists have previously told of the dangers of the storm, Dr Fisher’s comments are the most comprehensive warnings from Nasa to date.

Dr Fisher, 69, said the storm, which will cause the Sun to reach temperatures of more than 10,000 F (5500C), occurred only a few times over a person’s life.

Every 22 years the Sun’s magnetic energy cycle peaks while the number of sun spots – or flares – hits a maximum level every 11 years.

Dr Fisher, a Nasa scientist for 20 years, said these two events would combine in 2013 to produce huge levels of radiation.

He said large swathes of the world could face being without power for several months, although he admitted that was unlikely.

A more likely scenario was that large areas, including northern Europe and Britain which have “fragile” power grids, would be without power and access to electronic devices for hours, possibly even days.

He said preparations were similar to those in a hurricane season, where authorities knew a problem was imminent but did not know how serious it would be.

“I think the issue is now that modern society is so dependent on electronics, mobile phones and satellites, much more so than the last time this occurred,” he said.

“There is a severe economic impact from this. We take it very seriously. The economic impact could be like a large, major hurricane or storm.”

The National Academy of Sciences warned two years ago that power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications could “all be knocked out by intense solar activity”.

It warned a powerful solar storm could cause “twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina”. That storm devastated New Orleans in 2005 and left an estimated damage bill of more than $125bn (£85bn).

Dr Fisher said precautions could be taken including creating back up systems for hospitals and power grids and allow development on satellite “safe modes”.

“If you know that a hazard is coming … and you have time enough to prepare and take precautions, then you can avoid trouble,” he added.

His division, a department of the Science Mission Directorate at Nasa headquarters in Washington DC, which investigates the Sun’s influence on the earth, uses dozens of satellites to study the threat.

The government has said it was aware of the threat and “contingency plans were in place” to cope with the fall out from such a storm.

These included allowing for certain transformers at the edge of the National Grid to be temporarily switched off and to improve voltage levels throughout the network.

The National Risk Register, established in 2008 to identify different dangers to Britain, also has “comprehensive” plans on how to handle a complete outage of electricity supplies.

Watch Dr. Richard Fisher’s explanation here.

Coronal Mass Ejection is the Issue in Europe, not Volcanic Ash

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
April 19, 2010

It is of everyone’s knowledge the kind of disruptions the volcanic eruption in Iceland caused to international travel in Europe. Due to this eruption and the huge amount of ash reported to be coming out of the volcano, it is understandable that air space is closed for the safety of the people who intended to make their ways around the continent and across the Atlantic Ocean. However, some information has come to my attention that I think is important to share with the public, since the authorities are not doing it.

Although, as I mentioned before, air travel is banned for the moment, there are some facts that do not follow the same trend. For example, why is the Keflavic International Airport in Iceland still open? Is the real disruptor of air transport really volcanic ash or a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)? Is European airspace being kept clear to prevent people seeing something significant out of aircraft windows? Is European airspace being kept clear for military defensive purposes or for military offensive purposes? Whose military?

Volcanic eruptions are nothing rare nowadays. Volcanic activity is seen daily around the world, and there are volcanoes erupting daily around the globe. So why is this particular eruption so special? Maybe it’s not. There is another event happening at the same time this eruption is taking place. A large NATO Live Exercise originated out of Germany on April 12 and running up until April 22 is also taking place in European airspace. The exercise includes participants like the U.S. Air Force stationed in Germany and other places in the old continent.

Reports from Germany, Austria and other locations in Europe reported clear and blue skies up to April 17, as it can be seen in this image dated April 17, 2010. Enter the following report from rumormillnews.com.

“In Germany we experienced the most beautiful day of the year. No clouds, clear sky, not the slightest sign of dust or ash in the  atmosphere. To confirm my own observation I checked the www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/ 1200 UTC satellite picture with the same result: A large high pressure area stretching from England and France via the North Sea, Germany, the Alps all the way across Poland to the Russian border with winds from the east in central Germany. You can see the Sat Pic via the link below.”

This information contradicts the ash cloud forecast to engulf all European airspace. Air space over Ramstein Airforce Base in Germany has also remained opened throughout the emergency. Ramstein is the main location from which operations in the Middle East are coordinated. There have not been any interruptions in the operations conducted at Ramstein, as military airplanes seem to be able to cope with volcanic ash. German Airline Lufthansa conducted several flights in order to test the possibility of restarting normal transportation activity. The result of those tests were no damage or any other problems for the aircraft.

“In addition to air assets, tactical employment of Theater Missile Defense and Ground Based Air Defense assets will be extensively exercised.” Missile defense is a system, weapon, or technology involved in the detection, tracking, interception and destruction of attacking missiles. Originally conceived as a defense against nuclear-armed Intercontinental ballistic missiles, its application has broadened to include shorter-ranged non-nuclear tactical and theater missiles”, continues the report.

May these military exercises be related to a Coronal Mass Ejections? Well, one has to say it is just coincidental that three significant events occurred at the same time. The volcanic eruption, the military exercise and the coronal mass ejections. See Coronal Mass Ejection from April 13, 2010. According to the Solar Influences Data Center, significant solar activity is expected to occur between 2010 and 2012 and some of it was expected to happen beginning April 14. Find the report here.

“A Coronal Mass Ejection or CME linked to the eruption of a polar crown filament was detected on April 13 by LASCO and other coronagraphs. It is partially halo, with a main propagation direction to the North of the ecliptic plane. There is a risk that the southern flank of the CME crosses the Earth, triggering enhanced geomagnetic activity, not before late April 16 or more likely on April 17.”

Although air travel is supposed to be interrupted for several more days, reports issued as late as Sunday expressed the possibility that some flight activity would resume on Monday April 17. Is this also a coincidence? The solar activity was supposed to end on April 17, was it not? Also, note that although the volcanic eruption is real and the ash is real too, no image shown anywhere has confirmed the massive cloud of ash all over Europe as it has been reported by the main stream media. Vasts areas of the continent have remained clear throughout the emergency. So why close most European Air Space? Please stay tuned for more details.

Sources:

NASA. Coronal Mass Ejections
http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/CMEs.shtml

Operation Brilliant Ardent 10
https://realagenda.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/massive-military-exercise-in-europe-as-volcano-erupts/

Europe Satellite Image April 17, 2010

Dundee Satellite Receiving Station
http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/

Ash Cloud Forecast over Europe
http://www.eurad.uni-koeln.de/index.html

Coronal Mass Ejection April 13, 2010
http://www.spaceweather3.com/images2010/13apr10/cme_c3_anim360.gif?PHPSESSID=ifbmesp6a7oc507tt90elfoc45

Solar Influences Data Analysis Center
http://www.sidc.be/products/presto/