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article imageSunspot 1302 unleashed towards Earth, detected on shortwave radio

By Andrew Moran     Sep 27, 2011 in Science
Greenbelt - Scientists are monitoring a sunspot that produced an X1.9-category solar storm that was unleashed over the weekend and could be headed towards Earth. Sunspot 1302 is so strong that it has been detected shortwave radio on this planet.
Digital Journal has reported in the past on intense solar storms, and so far nothing catastrophic has occurred. The worst thing that has transpired thus far has been loss of radio signals in some parts of the United States.
On Monday, NASA issued a news release that updated us on a strong X1.9-category solar storm that erupted from active region (sunspot) 1302 Saturday morning that was recorded by the space administration’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The published video presented viewers with a shadowy shock rave that moved away from the impact site. This has led scientists to believe that the blast produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) that could hurt our magnetic field this week.
Although none of the blasts were directed towards the Earth, the sunspot will turn toward us within the next few days. NASA officials say that AR1302 is continuing to grow and that there is no evidence that it will quiet down anytime soon. It is in a position to produce more CMEs.
The Goddard Space Weather Lab detected solar wind plasma sneaking into the geosynchronous orbit that could affect satellites because they will experience solar wind plasma and magnetic fields.
As the sunspot continues to produce intense solar storms, audio has been recorded of the solar event. Thomas Ashcraft in New Mexico was able to record the sounds of the activity on his shortwave radio.
Sky gazers in high-latitude areas should look out for auroras come nightfall.
Continuity Central also issued a news release for businesses. It noted NASA’s list of possible impact by space weather. It reiterated NASA’s warning that intense solar activity could cause blackouts across the globe and could last for months as engineers attempt to repair the situation.
This would lead to the disruption of commerce since numerous institutions would be offline, airplanes would not be able to utilize GPS navigation and there would be no power for hundreds of millions of people.
UPDATE #1: According to NASA, the sunspot is still turning towards Earth, but the geomagnetic storm is subsiding.
More about sunspot 1302, Solar flares, shortwave radio, Coronal mass ejection
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