The Sun and Solar Events: Sunspots, EMP, CME, Solar Flares, Storms, Max and More.

Solar Activity

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Year 2016 Update

Things have changed. When this page was originally published, solar maximum was predicted to have been wrapped up by now. Such is not the case. Scientists are now saying solar maximum is still very much in the active phase. In other words, the disaster scenarios listed further down the page are still in play.

And, yes. solar activity can affect cell phone service.

The sunspot cycle is approximately 11 years.

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Updated Original Article

Well, folks. There was some scientific speculation we were going to get pasted by a solar superstorm. Zenith time is here for the eleven-year sunspot, solar flare, solar storm cycle. The Sun has exhibited certain anomalous characteristics, but looking good so far. And as the new year begins, the peak of the 11-year cycle is starting to wind down. [Update: this prediction has been changed. It is now being predicted the worst could actually still be ahead.]

The next section is a list of common solar-related events for year 2016.

And then the rest of the page is dedicated to everything you would ever want to know about sunspots, solar flares, solar storms, solar winds, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and electromagnetic pulses (EMP’s). Most of the information on this page was compiled from various government resources.

Reference List: Sunspots, 2010, solar flares, eclipse, solstice, solar storms, 2011, solar wind storms, solar superstorms, 2012, storm, CME, EMP, 2013, Solar Max, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Year 2016 Solar Calendar

Solar / Lunar Eclipses and Other Solar Events

  • January 02, Saturday - Perihelion: 0.9833 AU (Earth Perihelion: Earth closest to the Sun.)
  • March 08, Tuesday - Total Solar Eclipse
  • March 19, Saturday - Vernal Equinox (The Spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The Fall equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.)
  • March 23, Wednesday - Pen. Lunar Eclipse
  • June 20, Monday - Summer Solstice (The longest daylight day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The shortest daylight day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.)
  • July 04, Monday - Aphelion: 1.0168 AU (Earth Aphelion: Earth farthest from the Sun.)
  • September 01, Thursday - Annular Solar Eclipse
  • September 16, Friday - Pen. Lunar Eclipse
  • September 22, Thursday - Autumnal Equinox (The Fall equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The Spring (vernal) equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.)
  • December 21, Thursday - Winter Solstice (The shortest daylight day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The longest daylight day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.)

If you are interested in what the moon will be up to this year, here is its full year calendar schedule; includes moon phases, apogees/perigees. more.

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Sunspots - Solar Flares - Solar Storms - Solar Max: About the Sun

The Sun is approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) wide and contains over 99 percent of the mass of the solar system. Energy radiation averages over 380 billion trillion kilowatts. Unfortunately, the energy released by the Sun is not constant. The Sun's surface is a chaotic arena of sunspots, tangled magnetic fields, and arc-shaped clouds of plasma. Once in a while, events occur releasing enormous amounts of energy in the forms of solar flares, solar storms, wind storms, and solar superstorms; along with huge coronal mass ejections of hot/electrified gases/materials and electromagnetic pulses (EMP’s).

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Sunspots - Solar Flares - Solar Storms - Solar Max: Space Weather

When aimed at Earth, solar flares and coronal mass ejections create space weather. The charged particles from large storms blast Earth’s magnetic field. The charged particles interacting with Earth’s magnetic field generate auroras, but can also be destructive. Previous solar storms have destroyed satellites and damaged power grids causing blackouts.

The Sun produces sunspots and solar storms over an 11-year cycle of activity; which is driven by the reversal of its magnetic poles. At solar maximum, solar storms (coronal mass ejections and flares) are at maximum frequency, intensity, and duration. The next period of solar maximum is due around 2010 thru 2012. Space weather occurs as solar storms from the Sun travel through space and impact the Earth’s magnetosphere. Understanding space weather is important to our national security and economy; because solar storms can affect the advanced technology we have become so dependent upon. There are two kinds of solar storms: coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares. A flare happens when magnetic energy peaks near the Sun's surface and explodes; resulting in an intense burst of light, including X-rays. The much more severe CME occurs when magnetic field lines snap. It is this event which can and does send the most material and other high speed particles towards Earth; usually at near the speed of light.

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Sunspots - Solar Flares - Solar Storms - Solar Max: The NOAA Space Weather Scales Measurement System

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have developed a measurement system for space weather conditions; particularly as it relates to its effects on Earth.

There are three categories:

Geomagnetic Storms: disturbances in the geomagnetic field caused by solar winds. Rating scale G1 – G5.

Solar Radiation Storms: radiation levels of solar wind particles. Rating scale S1 – S5.

Radio Blackouts: ionosphere disturbances caused by X-ray emissions from the Sun. Rating scale R1 – R5.

*The following three tables have been included for reference purposes. Even though these tables have been abbreviated, they are still somewhat long. Probably be best to just give them a quick review for now and proceed to the much more interesting Historical Section.*

*Government table format is in descending order of severity*

NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms:

G5: Some power grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Pipeline currents can reach hundreds of amps. HF (high frequency) radio propagation may be impossible in many areas for days at a time. Satellite navigation may be degraded for days; low-frequency radio navigation can be out for hours. Auroras seen at low latitudes.

G4: Possible widespread power system voltage control problems; protective systems will mistakenly trip out key assets from the grid. HF radio propagation sporadic. Satellite navigation degraded for hours. Low-frequency radio navigation disrupted. Auroras seen at mid-to-low latitudes.

G3: Power system voltage corrections may be required; false alarms triggered on some protection devices. Intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation problems may occur. HF radio may be intermittent. Aurora has been seen as mid-latitudes.

G2: High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms, long-duration storms may cause transformer damage. HF radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes. Auroras visible at high-to-mid-latitudes.

G1: Possible weak power grid fluctuations. Migratory animals affected. Auroras commonly visible at high latitudes.

NOAA Space Weather Scale for Solar Radiation Storms:

S5: Radiation risk in high-flying aircraft at high latitudes. Satellites may be rendered useless. Permanent damage to solar panels possible. Complete blackout of HF (high frequency) communications possible in polar regions. GPS/radio-navigation extremely unreliable.

S4: Radiation risk in high-flying aircraft at high latitudes. Degradation of satellite and solar panel efficiency. Blackout of HF radio communications through the polar regions. Increased GPS/radio-navigation errors.

S3: Radiation risk in high-flying aircraft at high latitudes. Sporadic satellite interference. Degradation of HF radio propagation in polar regions. GPS/radio-navigation errors likely.

S2: May be high-flying aircraft radiation risk at high latitudes. Infrequent satellite single-event upsets possible. Small effects on HF propagation and GPS/radio-navigation.

S1: No biological concerns. No satellite concerns. May be occasional HF radio static.

NOAA Space Weather Scale for Radio Blackouts:

R5: Complete HF (high frequency) radio blackout on sunlit side of the Earth for periods lasing several hours. GPS/radio-navigation outages planet-wide.

R4: HF communications blackout on most of the sunlit side of Earth for one to two hours. Minor GPS/radio-navigation disruptions.

R3: Wide area blackout of HF communications for periods of approximately an hour on sunlit side of Earth. GPS/radio-navigation degradation.

R2: Limited HF blackouts. Limited GPS/radio-navigation degradation.

R1: Minor degradation of HF communications. Minor GPS/radio-navigation degradation for brief periods.

*end of NOAA tables*

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Sunspots - Solar Flares - Solar Storms - Solar Max: Historical

The September 1, 1859 Event aka The Carrington Event:

On August 28 numerous sunspots occurred (sunspots are regions of intense magnetic fields). These magnetic fields can intertwine and result in a violent release of energy (called a solar flare). Solar flares were observed from August 28 to September 2. On September 1, the Sun released a massive cloud of magnetically charged plasma called a coronal mass ejection (CME). Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires. Auroras were documented as far south as Rome and Hawaii. Additional auroras occurred at the South Pole. The 1859 Event was an unlucky combination of three factors. The CME was extraordinarily fast; the magnetic fields were extremely intense; the magnetic fields were in direct opposition to Earth's magnetic fields. This combination overwhelmed the Earth's magnetic field, allowing charged particles to penetrate into Earth's upper atmosphere; thus creating the havoc.

A March 1989 Incident: A lesser solar storm caused the Canadian power grid to go down for over nine hours. Resulting damages and loss of revenue estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

A 1994 Incident: A solar storm caused major malfunctions to two communications satellites.

Other storms have affected systems ranging from cell phone service and TV signals to GPS systems and electrical power grids.

The 1859 Event happened due to the resulting electrical discharges brought on by the Sun’s penetration into the Earth’s atmosphere. Considering all the technology the Sun has to play with today…

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Sunspots - Solar Flares - Solar Storms - Solar Max: Hypothesis

If all the Sun needs to create havoc are some copper wires, a telegraph key, and luddite technology batteries; then what chance does today’s technology have; especially in regards to circuit boards and microchips?

Paraphrased Excerpt from Testimony before the Committee on Homeland Security:

"One example of a physical threat is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event. An EMP may also be a naturally-occurring event caused by solar flares and storms disrupting the Earth’s magnetic field. A solar storm, according to an article in Scientific American, could “severely damage satellites, disable radio communications, and cause continent-wide electrical black-outs that would require weeks or longer to recover from."

** end of testimony **

Doomsday Time

An electromagnetic pulse ( EMP ) is defined as a burst of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field. The resulting electric and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.

Vulnerable circuit boards and microchips are everywhere. Consumer electronics barely scratch the service. Medical equipment is not a happy thought; neither are the electronically-controlled nuclear power plants. Most vehicles (land, sea, and air) are loaded with microchips. For that matter; most of our civilization’s entire infrastructure is one big, happy pile of circuit boards.

Then, of course, there are the ICBMs and nuclear stockpiles. Our nuclear weapons, with all their electronics, are hopefully protected from this sort of thing; but what about everyone else? Just what would a short in the precisely wrong circuit location do? The phrase “static discharge” could suddenly have a whole new meaning.

Have a nice day...
Have a nice day...

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Comments 19 comments

Website Examiner 6 years ago

This is one beautiful, well-researched, and unusually interesting hub. Here we are, already thinking we're over our heads in problems, and now this?

Well, I'm familiar with some of the vulnerabilities of the satellite communications infrastructure, and that is only the top of the iceberg. In any event, I am very, very impressed!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

But how will it affect google???? This is the real question.. lol

Great hub..


Website Examiner 6 years ago

Paradigmsearch, just came to thank you for your friendship. About a week ago, I included you in my hub, Tribute to 100 Hubbers, although you became a follower a bit later than that. I hope you enjoy the poem, which was inspired by this hub. Best wishes, W.E.


Daniel J. Neumann profile image

Daniel J. Neumann 6 years ago from Harrisburg, Pa

I'm glad someone is paying attention.

Now, what would make the Earth's magnetosphere reverse? And what might happen then? Could the magnetite in our pineal glands release DMT? Will we all trip?


Just a thought 6 years ago

When thinking of medical equipment most people are thinking of the gimlets and gadgets that plug into the wall. There are far more minute yet highly important medical devices such as defibrillators, pace makers that are internally implanted. These implants are sensitive to magnet waves, while a microwave in a kitchen shouldn't do any damage what will happen with the sun's magnetic storm? How many people in the world today have implanted devices? Is there anything we can do to protect them?


ceciliabeltran profile image

ceciliabeltran 6 years ago from New York

Yes, I like this one. It is filled with things to actually worry about and not a lot of imagined things.


Lweinberg profile image

Lweinberg 5 years ago

Good article. Ironically, I just watched the movie Knowing which is about this subject. I just read an article by NASA saying there'll be a solar flare in 2012, but they said it would just disrupt electrical devices. Who knows what they really know!


jmarq25 profile image

jmarq25 5 years ago

Pretty interesting article. Good stuff to think about.


hapluck 5 years ago

so the satellite aka an electronic devices will fail? could they move it away to mars first if there's not way to safe guard it?


clf 4 years ago

You think Mars is safer than Earth when it comes to solar threaths? Hardly!


ConcupiscentGem profile image

ConcupiscentGem 4 years ago from Columbus, OH

Very informative! Solar activity is definitely going to increase. I think in the next year we we will experience massive blackouts, possibly on a global scale. But hey, it will probably end our slavery to the financial system :-)


Brian Adams 4 years ago

we all do believe in the conflicting versions of the same heaven.... If Mr.SUN is so bad, we must now kick him even out of Vatican.... But I am not sure on this one though.... These reports of the SUN causing havoc been troubling us for few years now.... earlier, no one ever noticed

One Master told us that Apollyon or the Mr.Sun has been awakened up somewhere down here, and has caused problems for the others....

Strangely few Lizards that used to appear, when we had cried out to Lord Jesus in the past have not been seen for months now.... So we are now dependent on the Angels from the Orion (the flying saucers/spiders) for company & comfort....

Does anyone else have any other suggestions for these times troubling & difficult ?.... Thanks in advance....


Brian Adams 4 years ago

Another friend, a telecom engineer & from the church tells us that people are now talking in codes.... the radios perform better in sunny weather.... however the tricksters are now worried about the health of the spiritual spooky satellites used by magicians to spy on people.... they appear as pests & creatures that crawl on the walls.... some even hiding in electrical wiring....


Michael 4 years ago

From my research the clockwork solar storm appears to hit every 5,000 years. It's all embedded in religion, the best place to keep it. All the creation dates are about 3-4,000 BC. Statistically we entered the 2300 days in Daniel 8 on 1 Oct 11 when Jupiter missed its "sacrifice" in Taurus and went into retrograde. The eclipse is the goat trampling the ram. When Mars and Saturn are 490 minutes apart in Virgo that sets the abomination ticking. It will probably create a jet on 24 Sept and take about 60 hours to get here at escape velocity. Yom Kippur, the Day of Hiding, Judgement etc is the 26th. These dates are a legacy from the ancestors.

The solar matter will hit the Pacific on the date line. It will be below the ram (see Google Earth. Can you see the ram under Russia? Look to N Zealand for the goat with a broken horn that is N Zealand itself). This is the vision in Daniel 8 which means the ancestors at least had satellites to map terrain!

The USA will receive a high amount of UV radiation to start. Then there will be the boiling tsunami. Fortunately for Europe, the wave which hits Panama will be deflected down along the Andes and off towards the Antarctic. Asia, the US, S America, Australia will take the brunt. That is why they were not heavily populated when colonised in the 1600s. The population was wiped out or left around 3114 BC.

There will be another event on 7 April 2016. 7 April is Passover this year. It should be calmer.

The 2300 days ends on 17 January 2018. It seems that others in the past have reached the same conclusion. The song "Six a song of six pence" is an astronomical map six years after it all started. The king in his counting house is Jupiter in Libra with Mars which represents iron, and therefore money. The queen is Venus in Capricorn where the sun and moon are in eclipse: the moon is bread, the sun is honey. The maid in the garden is Mercury in Sagittarius which looks like it is hanging washing. The blackbird is Saturn which is represented as black, and aligned with Aquila the Eagle. All clever stuff. That song is from the 1700s. I think Newton might have had something to do with it.

Anyway, that's how it all pans out statistically based on astronomy and a scientific approach to the prophecies. And of course being able to see the Earth from space helps.

If you are in the US, Europe isn't all that bad. Norway is statistically the safest place to be.


Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Extremely interesting hub! And what a unique way to keep it updated. You write well and in a highly amusing fashion. Thank you so much for researching this and writing such a great hub.

You have a new fan!


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Excellent researched and written out hub. Took me a long time to find it - glad I did. Thanks for a super job!

Voted up and awesome and interesting.


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Vacation Trip 3 years ago from India

Very Interesting and informative hub with great pictures. Thanks for sharing.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

There's a ton of information in your article. Really enjoyed it!


Kalafina profile image

Kalafina 2 years ago

Found your page fascinating. Makes me understand a bit better why DoomsDay Preppers have seen people prepping for a major solar event. The idea of potential damage done is huge.

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