[amsat-bb] Brace for impact!

Alan P. Biddle APBIDDLE at mailaps.org
Fri Dec 8 04:44:25 PST 2006

I came across an interesting article on a major solar storm on its way in a
Russian source:  http://www.kommersant.com/p728532/r_530/Sun_Magnetic_Storm/

Pay attention to the recommendations for us ground dwellers at the end.
They are "interesting!"


The largest electromagnetic energy emission in the last 30 years has been
recorded on the Sun, the Shernberg State Astronomy Institute said on
Thursday. This energy outburst may damage equipment of space satellites, the
scientists say. Doctors warn that the emission is dangerous for those
afflicted with cardiovascular illnesses as well as for healthy people. 
Scientists at the Shernberg Astronomy Institute of the Moscow State
University have reported record-high emissions of electromagnetic energy on
the Sun, the biggest since the 1970s. Over the past few days, the volume of
sun radiation, or X9, has exceeded the normal level 1,000-fold. The
scientists call this phenomenon an anomaly and say that the Sun is now in a
stage when sunspots, sources of high electromagnetic radiation, are unusual.
"Outbursts on the Sun like this have been extremely infrequent over the past
30 years," said Igor Nikulin of the Shernberg Institute. "What is more, we
have never had a chance to observe such emissions with the sun at its
minimal activity."

Scientists say that the first indications of increased solar activity were
recorded on Monday when four sunspots appeared on the eastern part of the
visible side of the solar disk. First, the scientists observed flashes on
the Sun which were classified as moderate. However, the flashes were
followed on Tuesday by massive outbursts of electromagnetic energy. "Such a
large cloud of hot plasma has been released into space that even electronic
equipment on space satellites may be damaged," Vladimir Matveev at the
Moscow Aviation Institute says.

The Sun's electromagnetic anomaly has not reached the Earth yet. However,
the Earth is expected to reach the sunspots quite soon. The encounter may
happen this weekend, scientists at the Shternberg Astronomy Institute
report. Igor Nikulin says: "If the area of the sunspots does not diminish in
three or four days and the emissions continue, it may have a serious
influence on the magnetic field of the Earth." A cloud of hot plasma from
the sunspots will make the Earth's magnetic field vibrate and will cause a
powerful magnetic storm."

Doctors recommend their patients to keep to a special regime during the
magnetic storm. People with cardiovascular illness are believed to be at a
particular risk. However, quite healthy people should be on their guard as
well. "One should not go overboard with drinking, going to the sauna or
doing extra work," Vladimir Ryabinin, chief physician at the Sklifosovskiy
Ambulance Institute, advises. Other doctors suggest that people pay close
attention to their health conditions during the days of the magnetic storm
and go to consult their doctors in case of any problem.

Anna Geroeva

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list