Sunday, September 25, 2011

GLOBAL ALERT: BEHEMOTH SUNSPOT 1302 Unleashes Massive Earth- Directed X-FLARES Producing Explosive Coronal Mass Ejections!!! UPDATE: Chile's National Grid Collapses Into Major Power Blackout! UPDATE: More Reports of Power Blackout & Loss of Cellular Service! UPDATE: NOAA - Persistent Warning Until Sept. 27, Elenin Alignment!


According to Spaceweather.com, Sunspot 1302 poses a major threat for X-class solar flares.

SATURDAY X-FLARE
: Behemoth sunspot 1302 unleashed another strong flare on Saturday morning--an X1.9-category blast at 0940 UT. The explosion produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) that might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field in the days ahead; stay tuned for further analysis. CHANCE OF FLARES: New sunspot 1302 has already produced two X-flares (X1.4 on Sept. 22nd and X1.9 on Sept. 24th), can another be far behind? NOAA forecasters put the 24-hour probability at 20%. The sheer size of the active region suggests the odds might be even higher than that.
WATCH: X1.9 Solar Flare around Sunspot 1302.


Long Duration M-Class Flare: Another strong Solar Flare reaching M7.1 was very long in duration. A bright Full-Halo CME is included with this event and a portion of this cloud may be earth directed. Stay Tuned for more information and a special presentation. Another X-Class Flare: Sunspot 1302 is back at it again, this time producing an X1.9 Solar Flare at 09:40 UTC. This major event resulted in an R3 level radio blackout as well as producing a 10.7cm Radio Burst (TenFlare). A fast moving type II sweep frequency event is reported also. As this massive Sunspot continues to rotate into better position, the chances for an earth directed Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) will improve. This explosion did produce a CME, however it does not look to be very significant at this time. Stay Tuned to SolarHam.com, which is the number one spot for all of the latest information.


Issue Time: 2011 Sep 24 1029 UTC
ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2011 Sep 24 0935 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 2293 km/s


Comment: Learmonth spectrograph imagery indicated a very fast shock evident on both the fundamental and harmonic traces.


Issue Time: 2011 Sep 24 1003 UTC
SUMMARY: 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare)
Begin Time: 2011 Sep 24 0934 UTC
Maximum Time: 2011 Sep 24 0936 UTC
End Time: 2011 Sep 24 0940 UTC
Duration: 6 minutes
Peak Flux: 660 sfu


Radiation Storm: The solar protons continue at the S1 Minor Radiation Storm levels. Solar Flux: The 20:00 utc 10.7cm Solar Flux reading in Penticton, BC on Friday was 158.2. This is a brand new record for Solar Cycle 24. The previous best was 155 on March 8, 2011. It should be noted that the 22:00 utc Flux reading was 173.5, however this was an enhanced reading due to a Solar Flare in progress at time of measurement. Solar Update: Solar activity has been strong over the past 48 hours with numerous C-Class and M-Class flares as well as now two X-Class flares around Sunspot 1302. The chances for an Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejection are increasing . More flare activity will be possible within the next 24 hours. - Solar Ham.
WATCH: Solar Watcher's September 24 Solar Alert.


UPDATE: Chile's National Grid Collapses Into Major Power Blackout!

As the X-class solar flare threat for the Earth continues, a widespread power blackout has affected between 9 million and 16 million people in Chile, due to a problem with the national power grid, forcing thousands in the capital to be evacuated from trains or subway cars.

Four of the South American nation's 15 regions -- including the Santiago capital area of more than six million people -- lost power around 2O30 local time (2330 GMT). Authorities gave no immediate explanation of the cause of the blackout. There were no immediate reports of related injuries. But the blackout ground the capital's subway system to a halt, cut off cellular phone service and forced the cancellation of a concert by Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin. Some areas of the capital regained power 50 minutes into the blackout, local radio reports said. The last massive blackout hit Chile in March 2010. Authorities said the national power grid would remain unstable for at least two years after the magnitude 8.8 earthquake in February 2010 that rocked Chile and killed more than 500 people. - Channel News Asia.
A massive power blackout paralyzed crucial copper mines in Chile on Saturday and darkened vast swaths of the country including the capital Santiago before energy was largely restored, officials said. The outage acutely exposed the fragility of the energy grid in the world's top copper producer, which was devastated by a powerful earthquake in 2010... Scrambling engineers were able to fully restore power generation and get distribution up to 90 percent of normal, the government said after the blackout, which lasted a couple of hours in most places. "We've regained power in various regions of the country," said Chilean Energy Minister Rodrigo Alvarez. At an earlier briefing, Alvarez said the cause of the outage was unknown but that computers that help run the energy grid had also malfunctioned. The blackout primarily hit the center of the country, where nearly 10 million of Chile's 16 million people live. - Reuters.
UPDATE: More Reports of Power Blackout & Loss of Cellular Service!

AT&T
is reporting that nearly one thousand of their towers are affecting cell phone service throughtout Los Angeles.
AT&T reports that nearly 1,000 of their cell towers are down affecting countless customers throughout the Los Angeles area. The company says they are working to correct the problem but don’t expect to be fully operational until 2:30 tomorrow morning. Many customers have reported trouble making and receiving calls as well as receiving voice messages. A local AT&T store told CBS2 and KCAL9′s assignment desk that the outages have been “sporadic.” Text messaging and sending and receiving data is apparently not affected. - CBS Los Angeles.
WATCH: News coverage of the loss of cell service.


In Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, residents were without power for most of yesterday.
The Karachi Electric Supply Company on Saturday increased the duration of unannounced power outages for domestic consumers to about 12 hours and for the industry to eight hours. Residents of North Karachi, parts of North Nazimabad, Gulshan-i-Iqbal, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Federal B Area and PECHS block II complained that they suffered at least five spells of power outages of two-hour duration each. Residents of Orangi, Keamari, Malir, Shah Faisal Colony and Korangi suffered even more hours of power outages. - Dawn.
In Canada, several communities suffered from a power outtage last night.
Several area communities lost power Saturday evening from Ottawa to Princeton and as far west as Tiskilwa, including DePue, Malden, LaMoille and Ladd. Ladd resident Beth Flaherty said she was without power from 4:40 p.m. until shortly after 7 p.m. Residents who called Ameren got a message that stated there was a problem with a generator in Hennepin. Ladd Lanes wasn't affected too much by losing power for 1 1/2 hours, according to manager Sam Lawrence. The business closed until power returned at 7 p.m. and then reopened. The recorded message at Ameren gave an estimated time of 1 a.m. for power to be restored, Lawrence said, which would have cost the business its Saturday night crowd. Nearly 4,000 Ameren customers were without power in Ottawa at 7:30 p.m., according to the company's Web site, but by 7:40 p.m. that area was back on. More than 500 people in each town still were without power in Tiskilwa, Princeton and DePue. Ten minutes later DePue was back online, leaving only Tiskilwa and Princeton residents in the dark, along with one location in Ottawa and one in La Salle. - News Tribune.
UPDATE: NOAA Solar Alert - 'Persistent Warning' Until September 27, Date of Elenin Alignment!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a persistent warning for incoming solar flares until September 27th, the date of Comet Elenin's alignment with the Earth and the Sun.

Latest GOES Solar X-ray Image & Solar X-ray Flux.
NOAA Region 1302 remains impressive and active as it continues its transit across the visible disc. As shown in the GOES X-ray plot below, 1302 produced an R3 (Strong) and multiple R2 (Moderate) flares today. Intermittent degradation to High Frequency communications occurs on the daylight side of the Earth during each respective flare. Also, the slow rise of energetic protons near Earth has flattened out and we are hovering right around the S1 threshold (NOAA Solar Radiation Storm Scales). A fairly fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) associated with the long duration R2 flare is partially directed at Earth (long duration meaning long-lasting in time and wider in the graph below, as opposed to the impulsive flares that spike quickly). We won't see the bulk of this CME, but a glancing blow is predicted for late eventing Eastern Time on the 25th (or right around the start of day GMT on the 26th). Geomagnetic Storm levels reaching the G1 (Minor) level are likely with isolated G2 (Moderate) possible, particularly at high latitudes. 1302 remains active. - NOAA.
Meanwhile, Space Weather has issued the following report on what is happening on the Sun:
SOLAR STATIC: Active sunspot 1302 has turned the sun into a shortwave radio transmitter. Shock waves rippling from the sunspot's exploding magnetic canopy excite plasma oscillations in the sun's atmosphere. The result is bursts of static that may be heard in the loudspeakers of shortwave radios on Earth. Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft recorded this sample from his backyard observatory in New Mexico on Sept. 24th. "Saturday was a super-strong solar day with near continuous flaring and radio sweeps," says Ashcraft. "The sound file (above) corresponds to an M3 flare at 1918 UTC. It was the strongest radio sweep of the observing day. Try listening to the radio bursts in stereo," he advises. "I was recording on two separate radios at 21.1 MHz and 21.9 MHz, and I put each one into its own channel of the audio file. This gives a spatial dimension as the bursts sweep down in frequency."
Download or Listen HERE (MP3).

Stay tuned. More anon.