- Education and Science
Survival 101: Coronal Mass Ejection & Solar Flares
What is a Coronal Mass Ejection ?
A Coronal Mass Ejection is a burst of supercharged plasma, cosmic rays, electronically charged matter, electrons, radiation, and hot gasses being blasted from the sun at terrific speeds. The Coronal Mass Ejections are sometimes associated with solar flares and sunspots.
Most Coronal Mass Ejections are produced at what are called sun spots, which are active areas of the sun but can also be generated from quite areas. CME's arrive about one to five days after the eruption and can cause major disruptions, disturbances and melt down of the electrical grid. Any long lengths of current carrying metal, like power lines, railroad tracks, metal water lines or coils of wire can become antennas to collect the supercharged electrons and short out the electronics associated with those systems.
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The Earth has been designed to withstand CME's and cosmic rays. The Magnetosphere deflects and redirects the incoming solar winds, CME's, electrically charged particles and cosmic rays so that the Earth will not be hit directly with the death mass and rays. The Magnetosphere also keeps the CME's and solar material from depleting the Earth from the oxygen.
The Magnetosphere is very important to the Earth's survival and any disruption of its existence could cause concern for the inhabitants of Earth. NASA has found out that the Magnetosphere surrounding Earth has giant holes and sometimes is down completely. NASA says that this is cycle 24 and the CME's are magnetized north, which means that the Earth could be in for a serious event if hit directly by a CME, solar storm or cosmic matter, by changing the direction of the poles.
The Earth has natural shielding from radiation, heat, cosmic particles, plasma and other material that is space related. The Van Allen Belt traps electrons and particles in the rings and belts that normally would pose a problem to the inhabitants of Earth. The Magnetosphere cushions the Earth from solar winds and from the solar flares that are directed from the sun. The Mesosphere layer absorbs ultraviolet radiation and burns up certain meteors that enter into the Earth's atmosphere.
The magnetic force within the Earth also helps to deflect the effects of Mass Coronal Ejections, supercharged particles and radiation. The winds, clouds, ice and snow also help to equalize, reflect and distribute temperatures all around the earth.
Peak Sun Activity
NASA and scientist conclude that the sun will peak with activity around December 2012, while others say that it will peak around December 2013. Wikipedia states that NASA says that this is the 24th cycle and it will peak in early or mid 2013. The predictions of whether it is going to be a less active or more active is still up for grabs.
Protection from an MCE
Most likely if the Earth gets hit by a massive MCE, the electrical grid will be damaged, fried or completely down. You must be able to survive without electricity, be able to obtain drinkable water, food and resources for survival.
Each person will need at least one gallon of water per day. Without water, a person can only live about 3 days, so this is the priority for survival. Then comes food. A person can only live about 30 days with out food, so this is the second priority. Remember, a person can NOT eat gold to survive and will not replace food for survival. If there is no electricity, the need for gold will not be on people's priority list, but water, food and survival will be.
Even if you shielded the electronic machinery, items and equipment using electricity from the MCE, most likely the power grids would be down, so there would not be any usable electricity to power the items. The most important reasoning is to think survival, then about makeup, beauty and where to sleep, later. Things can get pretty nasty very quickly in the large city. Large mobs, riots and massive demonstrations can become deadly and uncontrollable.
The CME damage might just affect certain portions of the grid or might take down all the grid, the electronic equipment and everything that has any type of conductive metal. The media might or might not warn the public about the MCE and the cosmic radiation but the government might try to avoid panic and confusion before the hit. After the hit, most National Guard Units have been trained to keep the civilian inhabitants inside the city to guard the crops, farms and ranches outside the cities.
Results from a MCE
The modern world has electronic and electrical devices throughout every part of life. The modern technology relies on electricity to function and to continue working. The communication, the banking system, the commerce system, trucking, transportation, fuel and the energy grids must have electricity to operate.
A major CME from the sun hitting Earth directly would most likely take out the electricity grids, most communication and e-commerce systems. The resulting hit from a CME would short circuit computers, communication equipment, transmission lines, transportation modes, banking systems and all machines requiring electricity. Without money and commerce, the economy would quickly break down, resulting in chaos, looting and riots. Any given city only has about a 3 day supply of food, water and resources to keep its inhabitants alive, so with out electricity, the breakdown in society would come quickly and civilian unrest would follow.
In a large city, the effects of no electricity would be disastrous and catastrophic. Within hours, the need for drinkable water, food, security and proper sanitation would be the priorities for most city dwellers. The vast population of a large city would quickly consume all available resources, food and water that would be available. Looting, rioting and stealing would quickly take place, to satisfy the needs of the people.
Know when to stay, know when to run
In a large city, an electrical power outage can be a couple of hours, a couple of days or for weeks. A pre-determined plan of excape should be well planned out. Remember, after the major power outage happens, the excape routes will most likely be blocked and automobiles might not be working because these contain coils, wires and computer circuits. Also, there will be massive mobs, rioting and looting after the social system breaks down.
A get-out-of-dodge bag and a bug-out-bag should be prepared as soon as possible and careful thinking of what could happen if hit by a CME, solar flare or a Electromagnetic Pulse bomb. Being without electricity in a large city can be deadly to anyone living there if the economic system, electrical grid or commercial system collapses. Be and get prepared.