2012 – The Coming ”Perfect Storm”
Vol: 105 Issue: 19 Saturday, June 19, 2010
In early September in 1859, telegraph wires suddenly began to short out, igniting wide-spread fires across both the United States and Europe. The Earth had been hit by a perfect solar storm.
A solar storm is created when the sun erupts, sending charged particles racing outward in an expanding plasma bubble of hot gas. In 1859, four crucial events came together to create that perfect storm.
First the blob of plasma that was ejected hit the earth full on. Secondly, the magnetic fields of the ejected coronal mass was exceptionally intense.
Third, it hit at unusually high velocity. A typical solar storm can take two to four days to cover the 93 million miles of space separating the two. The 1859 storm took less than 18 hours to cover the distance.
And finally, the coronal magnetic field hit the earth from the opposite direction from the earth’s protective magnetic field called the “solar wind.”
During the 1859 flare-up, solar observers logged almost an entire minute during which the amount of sunlight doubled at the region of the flare.
“Such a strong white-light flare has never been seen since,” says Paal Brekke, SOHO deputy project scientist. “So if this type of flare happened, yes we would know right away.”
But he adds that the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field would not be known. That can’t be determined without some kind of space-based observation platform. And the orientation of the Earth’s protective magnetic field determines how much damage the earth will sustain.
In August 1972, a 230,000-volt transformer at the British Columbia Hydroelectric Authority blew up when shifting magnetic fields induced a current spike. On March 13, 1989, a storm plunged Quebec into a complete power blackout, affecting millions.
To get some sense of the relative strength of the 1859 solar storm, a space storm’s impact is measured in nT’s or nano-Teslas.
The storm that fried Quebec’s power grid in 1989 measured 589 nT’s. The perfect storm in 1859 measured a whopping 1,760 nTs.
According to a new study from the National Academy of Sciences, if a coronal mass ejection creating the size solar storm that hit in 1859 were to strike today, the damage could be catastrophic.
“A contemporary repetition of the  event would cause significantly more extensive (and possibly catastrophic) social and economic disruptions,” concluded the study.
“Impacts would be felt on interdependent infrastructures with, for example, potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on.”
Banks could close for months and international trade could grind to a halt.
“Emergency services would be strained, and command and control might be lost,” write the researchers, led by Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
“Whether it is terrestrial catastrophes or extreme space weather incidents, the results can be devastating to modern societies that depend in a myriad of ways on advanced technological systems,” Baker said in a statement released with the report.
Solar activity runs in eleven year cycles between what is called the solar minimum and solar maximum periods. The next solar maximum is forecast to be on par if not worse than the perfect storm of 1859.
That storm is forecast to hit the earth some time towards the end of 2012.
“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25)
At a January 2009 meeting of the American Astronomical Society astronomers discussed a mysterious cosmic ‘roar’ first detected in July 2006.
NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas launched a balloon-borne instrument that reached at altitude of 120,000 feet at the point where the earth’s atmosphere meets the vacuum of space.
The project’s mission was to search the sky for faint signs of heat from the first generation of stars. Instead, they detected a ‘roar’ emanating from the distance reaches of the universe.
The discovery prompted Alan Kogut of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to exclaim to his colleagues that “there is something new and interesting going on in the Universe.”
“The universe really threw us a curve,” Kogut said. “Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted.”
Detailed analysis of the signal ruled out primordial stars or any known radio sources, including gas in the outermost halo of our own galaxy.
Other radio galaxies also can’t account for the noise — there just aren’t enough of them.
“You’d have to pack them into the universe like sardines,” said study team member Dale Fixsen of the University of Maryland. “There wouldn’t be any space left between one galaxy and the next.”
The signal is measured to be six times brighter than the combined emission of all known radio sources in the universe.
In October 2003 , the Omega Letter reported on “Sunspot 484” a sunspot ten times larger than the Earth that caused a radio blackout on October 19th.
“Larry Combs, a forecaster with the NOAA Space Environment Center’s Space Weather Operations, said that this region has developed rapidly over the last three to four days. “It’s somewhat unusual to have this much activity when we’re approximately three-and-a-half years past solar maximum,” he said. “In fact, just last week, solar activity was very low with an almost spotless sun.”
The November 4, 2003 issue of the Omega Letter opened with these words:
“The sun erupted three more times in less than 24 hours, bringing the number of major eruptions to nine in less than two weeks. Scientists have been monitoring the solar cycles since 1755. There has never been a string of activity like this.. . .”
The September 12, 2005 Omega Letter discussed the unusual eruption of seven separate solar flares during the midpoint of the current Solar Cycle 23’s minimum cycle. We noted then that;
“By the midpoint of 2000, the number of solar events peaked about 400% above normal. . . . What is particularly fascinating is what is emerging as a pattern of unusual solar activity, dating to about 1948, as noted by the American Institute of Physics in its bulletin number 658 published in 2003 by Phillip F. Schewe, Ben Stein, and James Riordon.”
Note closely the three dates mentioned here. The pattern of unusual solar activity began in 1948. They peaked in 2000 as we crossed the threshold into the 21st century. And NASA is forecasting what may be the most destructive solar storm in human history, due to strike the Earth sometime in late 2012!
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)