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Thread: A lot can happen in a day...

  1. #1
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    A lot can happen in a day...

    Man, I don't come here for a day and I read two stories that make me slightly uncomfortable. I know this is an unnessessary topic, but I have two questions....

    1. Should I be worried about the big black spot on Jupiter? Is it going to cause it to blow up or something and kill us all?

    2. I heard some storm cause by sunspots is coming toward us and will cause sattelites to crash and cause massive power outages. Has it already hit and should I be nervous.

    God, I sound like a troll. COuld someone smarter then me clear this up for me? Thanks alot.

  2. #2
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    Re: A lot can happen in a day...

    1. Nope.
    2. We've been getting pummeled by huge solar mass ejections for the past year or two. Haven't you noticed? You probably won't notice this one, either.

    Actually I haven't paid much attention to this story. Perhaps someone else can give a little better, uh, interpretation....

    Sounds like a good time to go surfin'....
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

  3. #3
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    The first CME has come and gone. Apparently some users of satellite phones had some static and that was about that. These are frequent events, I don't know why CNN and the news channels are making such a big deal about this one. Its cool stuff, but it is nothing to be worried about. 8-[

    As far as spots on Jupiter... its a millon times less to worry about than the CME.
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  4. #4
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    Sheesh! Just because something interesting happens in space doesn't mean we're going to be completely destroyed. Don't let the woo woo mentality spread!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yumblie
    Sheesh! Just because something interesting happens in space doesn't mean we're going to be completely destroyed. Don't let the woo woo mentality spread!
    But isn't that how it works in movies?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xbalanque
    But isn't that how it works in movies?
    that's why there's an old saying "all woo-woos are movie producers"

    [edited for quotation mark]

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    One thing to try when confronted with something you don't know much about, such as whether jupiter could explode and kill us all, is to try to throw numbers at the problem.

    A couple ofsimple google search says the mass of the sun is 1.98892*10^30 kg, the mass of jupiter is 1.8987 10^27 kg, giving the sun more than a thusand time the mass.
    Jupiter is ~4AU away at it's closest.

    The sun is already trying it's best to explode, doing so with a thousand times more material, at a quarter the distance, and only just manages to heat us up enough to melt water.
    I would think we can rest easy even if it was possible to start fusion on jupiter.

  8. #8
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    I'm now reassured about the Jupiter thing, but the whole thing with the sun is confusing me. Could the sun explode in a few days, or has this happened before like in 1859? It makes me uneasy.

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    No, as far as I know, it can't suddenly explode and kill us all (well, hopefully). It hasn't ever happend before in history I think (if it did we wouldn't all be here), people might get confuse with the huge explosions from the sun but those are nothing to worry about.

    skyglow1

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    I meant as in the last time something like this CME happened. I think it was 1859.

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    I think CMEs are a lot more common than that.

  12. #12
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    You could say that the Sun has been exploding for 5 billion years and will continue to do so for another 5 billion years. The Sun is converting 4 million tons of hydrogen into helium per second!

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    I think its funny how people think that something as eventful as a planet exploding or the sun exploding could happen in their life spans. These events occur on a scale that our life spans are but a blink, if that. So I take comfort in the odds of such events occurring in my life span are quite insignificant. I feel that witnessing the impacts on Jupiter alone was quite something to have witnessed. I'm sure that it shot all luck in living long enough to see something as cool or significant in our lifetime now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb
    I think its funny how people think that something as eventful as a planet exploding or the sun exploding could happen in their life spans. These events occur on a scale that our life spans are but a blink, if that. So I take comfort in the odds of such events occurring in my life span are quite insignificant. I feel that witnessing the impacts on Jupiter alone was quite something to have witnessed. I'm sure that it shot all luck in living long enough to see something as cool or significant in our lifetime now.
    Man, you can't go a week without someone on GLP claiming that some catastrophic, once-in-a-million-year event is happening TODAY. You'd think they'd get tired of it after a while.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  15. #15
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    Re: A lot can happen in a day...

    Quote Originally Posted by ObiWan377
    2. I heard some storm cause by sunspots is coming toward us and will cause sattelites to crash and cause massive power outages. Has it already hit and should I be nervous.
    The word "crash" in this context would be the same as a computer crashing.

    It DOESN'T mean the satellite is going to crash back to Earth.

    It DOES mean that the satellites' electronics might be damaged, having the same effect as a computer going down.

    It also doesn't necessarily mean the second event is going to happen either.

  16. #16
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    This thread remind sme of a claim I see every now and then about how the Sun has a high probability of blowing up every second, and only avoids doing so because of a "continuing trend". Unfortunately I couldn't find any links to that kind of a story right now. It awalsy sounded pretty dodgy to me, but anybody on these boards know the story and the truth behind it?

    And no, I'm not talking of the "Sun is going to blow up" story treated in Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/science/sunboom.htm). Another one I've heard that sounds even more dubious is that there's a miniature black hole inside the Sun. (I suppose this would explain how every pseudo-science story talks about Sun going supernova even though it doesn't have enough mass for that

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ObiWan377
    I meant as in the last time something like this CME happened. I think it was 1859.
    CME are much more common than that. They vary with the solar cycle (sunspot cycle) which I belive has a period of about 12 years. We are just coming off a maximum, where the numbers increase. I couldn't give you exact numbers but we are talking about something that happens maybe a dozen times a year or so. The biggest variables are the size of the event and whether they are heading towards Earth. This particular event was medium sized and pretty well aimed at Earth.
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  18. #18
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    The sun-spot cycle is about 11 years. Also, in 1997 - three years before the solar max - there were about 40 or so full-halo Earth-directed CME's. We're now about 3 years after the solar max, so it's reasonable to expect about 40 Earth-directed CME's this year. "This particular events" as reported on these boards was NOT an Earth-directed one, however.

    Also, its X-ray intensity was X5 on an open-ended logarithmic scale where the largest measured events have been X20+ or tens of times higher intensity. (The instruments generally can't measure over X10, so anything hinger is an estimate). Still, the original meaning of the scale was that X was for really big, significant event while M was for Medium and C for small event. But when the scale was originally constructed, X9 was expected to be practical top but during the last solar max it was found out that X9+ events aren't really that rare. As noted earlier though, CME's and flares aren't that strongly linked and there are several other variables (direction, interplanetary consitions) to consider, so the flare intensity classes are fairly poor predictor for the effects of the CME on Earth.

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