“Super Tuesday? You bet!” said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). ”It’s hitting us right in the nose. By some measures this is the strongest one since December of 2006.”
The solar flare, an X5-4-class sun storm, is expected to cause no major problems, but due to the storm’s strength, people are already taking precautions with their communications systems and air travel routes. The NOAA’s space weather scale has been set at an R3, which means special communication precautions have been taken, but Kunches expects the storm may peak at a G3/S4 level. That means power surges may affect the power grid and that the astronauts on the ISS will have to take shelter from the radiation bombardment.
“Being hit by a CME does not automatically mean aurora,” said NASA solar physicist C. Alex Young, explaining why we all didn’t get another aurora borealis sighting. ”A CME has to be what we call ‘geo-effective.’ It must have enough mass, speed and magnetic field (including the orientation of the field) in order to disturb the magnetosphere sufficiently (to generate aurorae).”
The region responsible for this storm was AR 1402 (the AR stands for active region, meaning a place with a lot of bubbling sun activity). Expect more such eruptions, not just from this area, but from the sun in general. The year 2013 is slated to be a solar maximum year, meaning the sun is going to be very active and earth is going to be getting a nice tan thanks to all the solar energy.
With winter weather in full swing, we have heard a lot about the “wind chill factor”. What exactly is wind chill and how do you “factor” it in to the temperature? In basic terms, windchill is the temperature a person feels because of the wind. The movement of air increases heat loss by convection – similar to when you blow over a spoonful of hot soup! There is a special formula meteorologists use to calculate the wind chill. Check out this chart and figure out what the temperature really feels like in your neighborhood!
High Touch High Tech is excited to present our Global Fever program at the NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland today! Dinosaur Dan will be presenting the hands-on Global Fever experience to approximately 70 scientists and administrators. The presentation will also be simulcast on the OneNOAA Science Seminar which NOAA scientists and educators from all over the world will log on and view.
The Global Fever program is a way to educate children about global warming and climate change in a fun, hands-on experience. We here at HTHT are very proud and excited about the possibility to work with NOAA!