Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Alert : Solar Flares can Shut Down The World ~ Whitley Strieber
Whitley Strieber talked about a high level of recent UFO activity, as well as the potential danger from solar flares. In his new ebook, Solar Flares, he explores what could happen to our society if we were suddenly knocked off the grid by a powerful solar storm. Incidents back in 1923 and 1859 would have knocked out our power grids, he noted. Yet it's not so much that our sun has changed in recent years, it's that we have, as a society, become so highly dependent on electricity and our devices, that a major grid collapse could have catastrophic consequences, he commented. While Europe and Canada have made some efforts to protect their grids, the United States has yet to pass legislation to mandate this.
Strieber discussed a curious geologic feature in North America dating back 15,000 years called the Black Mat, a layer of material composed of ash and plankton skeletons. "Something happened that set this continent on fire...melted the glaciers...and was followed by a flood that stretched all the way from Colorado to the Atlantic Ocean," he said, pondering whether this kind of extinction event was related to solar flares or plasma hitting the planet. He also spoke about, how since the middle of 2011, there have been waves of not only UFO sightings, but high strangeness events like unexplained sounds and booms heard in multiple locations. He shared details of an anomalous aerial object photographed in Washington DC, as well as UFO incidents in South Texas.
Whitley Strieber is the author of over twenty bestselling books, including Communion and Superstorm written with Art Bell. His novels the Grays and 2012: the War for Souls are both being made into films and the Grays is expected to go into production this year. His nonfiction TV series Alien Intent will begin appearing on A&E later this year. Whitley's latest novel, 'Critical Mass', is a thriller about nuclear terrorism.
A solar flare is a sudden brightening observed over the Sun's surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release of up to 6 × 1025 joules of energy (about a sixth of the total energy output of the Sun each second or 160,000,000,000 megatons of TNT equivalent, over 25,000 times more energy than released from the impact of Comet Shoemaker--Levy 9 with Jupiter). They are mainly followed by a colossal coronal mass ejection also known as a CME. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona of the sun into space. These clouds typically reach Earth a day or two after the event. The term is also used to refer to similar phenomena in other stars, where the term stellar flare applies.
Solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere (photosphere, chromosphere, and corona), when the plasma medium is heated to tens of millions of kelvins the electrons, protons, and heavier ions are accelerated to near the speed of light. They produce radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays, although most of the energy is spread over frequencies outside the visual range and for this reason the majority of the flares are not visible to the naked eye and must be observed with special instruments. Flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior. Flares are powered by the sudden (timescales of minutes to tens of minutes) release of magnetic energy stored in the corona. The same energy releases may produce coronal mass ejections (CME), although the relation between CMEs and flares is still not well established.
X-rays and UV radiation emitted by solar flares can affect Earth's ionosphere and disrupt long-range radio communications. Direct radio emission at decimetric wavelengths may disturb operation of radars and other devices operating at these frequencies.
Solar flares were first observed on the Sun by Richard Christopher Carrington and independently by Richard Hodgson in 1859 as localized visible brightenings of small areas within a sunspot group. Stellar flares have also been observed on a variety of other stars.
The frequency of occurrence of solar flares varies, from several per day when the Sun is particularly "active" to less than one every week when the Sun is "quiet", following the 11-year cycle (the solar cycle). Large flares are less frequent than smaller ones.