Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sunspot activity to peak in 2011-2012 5 Ix 2 Uo

I find this interesting because of the whole "2012 thing" (as I so artfully call it; when I do actually want to sound insightful I call it the "2012 event").
A lot of people correlate metaphysical energy/activity with sunspots and solar eruptions. (Steve Rother of, for one.) says:
The peak of the next sunspot cycle is expected in late 2011 or mid-2012 -- potentially affecting airline flights, communications satellites and electrical transmissions.....
Half of the specialists predicted a moderately strong cycle of 140 sunspots expected to peak in October of 2011, while the rest called for a moderately weak cycle of 90 sunspots peaking in August of 2012.
Of course, there's one school of Mayan-apocalyptic thought which claims the "end date" is October 2011, lead by Carl Calleman. (Read the debunking of this false end date by John Major Jenkins here.) I'm sure CC will use this to prop up his saggy theory. (Part of his theory, about cycles, is very interesting indeed. It's the end-date that throws it all off. He can't take into account that the cycles he's located might be a little bit fuzzy when you look at thousands of years. He also ignores the Long Count's 13th Baktun start date even though his theory is supposed based on the Long Count. Sigh.)
Back to
During an active solar period, violent eruptions occur more often on the sun, the agency said. Solar flares and vast explosions, known as coronal mass ejections, shoot highly charged matter toward Earth.
This crazy amount of solar activity can cause, among other things:
  • Airlines flying over the pole face loss of communications that could force them to use a different, longer route at an added cost of as much as $100,000 per flight.

  • The Global Positioning System is immensely important to commerce and can be disrupted by solar activity.

  • Operating floating oil rigs in the ocean requires keeping them positioned within a few inches to prevent damaging drilling gear. "They have to know when GPS is going to be accurate."

  • There is an increased radiation risk to humans in space.

  • Currents can be induced in long electrical transmission lines, causing blackouts.
  • The solar storms also can heat the Earth's upper atmosphere, causing it to expand. This increases drag on satellites, slowing them down. It also affects the position of the space debris encircling the planet, and it is essential to keep track of that debris for the safety of space flight.
All very nice indeed for those who think the year 2012 will be the end of the world.
Which I don't believe, but I'm starting to get discouraged explaining WHY.

No comments: