advanced warning of solar weather

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advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on December 28th, 2014, 6:59 pm 

My simple question:

How much advanced warning do we really have before a large enough CME that will really disrupt communications hits Earth?

I can't seem to find an answer that takes into account the following.
I can find how long it takes the storm to reach Earth. I read anywhere from 1 to 7 days.
I also found that particles from such an ejection can range between 1000km per second to 1,800 miles per second.

BUT, how fast do we receive data from NASA's STEREO satellites? On top of that, how much time in advance and how well can we see the sunspots form that will precede such an event?

If EM travels at the speed of light, then we can't send data to us faster than that from our satellites that observe the sun.

I am wondering if our current technology for such a large event will have enough time to really get through the media before it hits us. Will we have enough time to call long distance relatives and friends to say "Talk to you in a few months when the grid is back up." lol
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby Watson on December 28th, 2014, 7:05 pm 

Weakmagnetoe may be able to help out hear. My understanding was, we must predict events, then we have that plus 8 minutes. Nice to think it is only the grid getting fried.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on December 28th, 2014, 7:08 pm 

http://www.amsat.org/amsat/articles/g3ruh/127.html
Data is transmitted from STEREO in one of two modes; (a) high speed (currently 720 kbps), stored data (up to 1 Gb), intended for the Deep Space Network (DSN) to collect the high resolution science data some 8 hours/day, and (b) a low speed 633 bps continuous real time subset of the solar data intended for collection by smaller ground stations. Amsat collects low speed data. The ground stations then forward the data via the Internet to NASA GSFC for processing where it is posted on the web [2] in near real time for all to use, including the various world wide organizations monitoring and predicting Space Weather. The ground network for the low speed data is organized and coordinated by the SWPC in Boulder, Colorado.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on December 28th, 2014, 7:12 pm 

If CME's travel at 1800 Miles per second, and assuming the spacecraft can send us data at 186,282 miles per second. Now all I need to figure out is the distances I guess?

Distance from Earth to sun = 92,960,000 miles

92,960,000/1800 = 51644/60 = 860/60 = 14.35 hours for a CME to hit Earth.

It looks like STEREO can be as far as 185,920,000 miles from Earth.
http://stereo.gsfc.nasa.gov/where.shtml

185,920,000/186,282(speed of light in miles per sec) = 998/60 = 16 minutes to receive data from STEREO.

So I guess we have about 14 hours advanced warning to when the scientists get the data? Does that seem right? If you just went to bed and slept in late, you have only a couple hours when you wake-up to check the news and call your relatives.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby Eclogite on December 28th, 2014, 11:18 pm 

zetreque » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:12 pm wrote:If you just went to bed and slept in late, you have only a couple hours when you wake-up to check the news and call your relatives.

Or you could buy writing paper, pens and stamps.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on December 28th, 2014, 11:32 pm 

Eclogite » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:18 pm wrote:
zetreque » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:12 pm wrote:If you just went to bed and slept in late, you have only a couple hours when you wake-up to check the news and call your relatives.

Or you could by writing paper, pens and stamps.


That is.... If you have their address. lol.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby Braininvat on December 29th, 2014, 12:13 pm 

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/201 ... olar-storm

some of the suggestions seem a bit tongue-in-cheek.

they don't mention it, but IIRC, smaller devices can be stuffed in the microwave oven (make sure it's unplugged)
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on December 31st, 2014, 12:27 am 

So I guess my numbers seem right, but there is another problem.

It is confusing to note the difference between a CME and a Solar Flare.
It looks like CME's just have a lot more particles. Solar flares can travel near the speed of light so that doesn't give us much warning.

It would be similar to predicting earthquakes I guess, but maybe better because we can observe sunspots growing.

So far I would assume something powerful enough to disrupt technology would have to be a CME combined with flare. The flare would hit us fast, followed by a more intense particle shower. So technology would maybe sporadically go out a little when the first strong flare of such an event hits 8 minutes after leaving the sun, and then more until the peak storm hits us about 14 hours later.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby Braininvat on December 31st, 2014, 12:18 pm 

The huge cloud of charged particles (with detached magnetic loops), the CME, is what makes the wallop of a solar flare. Solar flare is the overall term for the light burst from the sun and accompanying ejection of plasma. The light burst doesn't do much, but alert us that the particle storm is n its way. It's brief...Richard Carrington was actually embarassed, in 1859, when he called colleagues to his telescope to observe the light flare and it had already faded. The cluster of monster sunspots was still there, of course. And 14 hours later, the CME put on a memorable show...I think we talked about this in another thread, earlier this year....aurorae bright as morning, emp making telegraph power itself, etc.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby weakmagneto on January 16th, 2015, 6:08 pm 

Coming to this conversation relatively late, however, here an interesting article I came across about predicting solar weather. The summary (quoted below) is from Science Mag and the article they use as a source for more information is from phys.org.

Artificial intelligence helps predict solar flares

So far, predicting solar flares has been challenging for humans. We don’t exactly understand the physics behind the colossal bursts, so predicting when and where they’ll occur has relied on statistical and numerical models. As recent projects like the Solar Dynamics Observatory have added massive amounts of data to our knowledge of the sun’s dynamics, scientists have begun to investigate algorithms that teach artificial intelligence to predict solar flares, Phys.org reports. The machines make predictions by analyzing vector magnetic field data from the sun, and then, based on which predictions turn out to be correct, the machine begins to “learn” what conditions actually do cause flares.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on May 5th, 2015, 12:29 am 

[20:54] <Meson> hmm. A CME will hit the planet on May 6.

apparently this is a really slow moving one that will take 4 days to get here.

Image
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby Darby on May 5th, 2015, 4:02 am 

Magnitude. ?
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on May 5th, 2015, 9:40 am 



I don't know, but if you find anything that correlates or shows a non-correlation between magnitude and how long (speed) a CME or solar flare takes to get to Earth, that might be interesting. I'm sure there must be one, but 4 days is pretty long so I can't imagine it being that strong.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby weakmagneto on May 8th, 2015, 10:05 pm 

Hi Z: These topics might be of interest to you about solar storms:

viewtopic.php?f=129&t=23041&p=217875&hilit=solar+weather#p217875

viewtopic.php?f=72&t=22357

viewtopic.php?f=72&t=21514

Astrophysicist Answers Questions About Sun
viewtopic.php?f=72&t=24903

Check out one of my favourite websites http://www.spaceweather.com/ to get up-to-date information about solar weather.

Hope this helps!
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on May 9th, 2015, 1:58 am 

thanks weakmagneto

The second link is especially relevant.

They found that protons with energies between 165 million and 500 million electron volts (corresponding to speeds of between 53% and 76% the speed of light) arrived at the sensors, on average, about 95 minutes after the flares' first protons reached Earth. Slower-moving protons with energies between 40 million and 80 million electron volts (traveling from between about 29% and 39% the speed of light, respectively) arrived at Earth about 71 minutes later.


So as of the posting of that article in 2012, maybe the best we could hope for in detection is 95 minutes warning maybe given a 500 meV storm. I was just trying to find the greatest meV solar storms we have experienced in the past...
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby weakmagneto on May 9th, 2015, 12:59 pm 

Hey Z:

Here's a YouTube video titled 10 Amazing Solar Eruptions:
https://youtu.be/1qBwmgAnMWQ
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on May 9th, 2015, 4:17 pm 

I like the clips that show the time stamp at the bottom, but they are played too fast and short to really get a grasp about the speeds.
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on February 15th, 2018, 1:36 pm 

Be on the lookout for auroras :)

G1 Watch for 15 February, 2018
http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/news/g1-watch-15-february-2018
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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby weakmagneto on February 25th, 2018, 6:37 pm 

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Re: advanced warning of solar weather

Postby zetreque on February 25th, 2018, 7:46 pm 

That or NOAA changed their mind about the 15th storm.
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