Fri, Mar 09, 2012
Current Flareup Could Affect GPS, Communications, Power Grid
A solar storm was expected to wash over the Earth Thursday, affecting systems from the national power grid to GPS receivers. The storm, which was predicted to last about a day, was forecast to be a "G3" event. The solar storm scale ranges from G1 to G5.
While USA Today reports that the storm had the potential to disrupt power grids, power companies were alerted to the possibility by NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. On its website, the SWPC said that "the orientation of the (Earth's) magnetic field has been opposite of what is needed to cause the strongest storming. As the event progresses, that field will continue to change. Based on overall strength, the predictions for periods reaching the G3 level look justified. Additionally, the Solar Radiation Storm levels remain above the S3 (Strong) threshold at this time, with values rising at the moment with the shock arrival." The center said that the sun remains in an active cycle, and subsequent activity is "certainly possible."
Solar activity has the potential to affect GPS receivers, and flights operating near polar regions were re-routed to minimize the interference.
Joe Kunches of the Space Weather Prediction Center told the paper that the increase in activity is part of an 11 year solar cycle, so there will be more of these kinds of storms, perhaps every month or two, as the cycle approaches its peak in 2013.
But for anyone living north of a line that cuts across the nation's midsection from the mid Atlantic states through the Midwest to Oregon, a benefit may be a rare chance to see an aurora borealis, usually only visible in latitudes much further north.
Numerous Flights Cancelled Saturday Britain's Air Traffic Control system suffered what was described as a "technical problem" Saturday resulting in widespread cancellations of flig>[...]
Also: Bell 47 Update, USSC Aero-Legal Decision Coming, Evergreen Kaput, Blue Angels Full Sked The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team is on the airshow circuit again. Ev>[...]
Designed To Pull Spacecraft Away From A Failing Booster In Launch Emergency Scenario NASA engineers and contractors have successfully completed the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) >[...]
The Aero Experience A blog focusing on GA and sport aviation in the midwest.>[...]
The runway length declared available and suitable for the ground run of an airplane taking off.>[...]