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Best of the Blog - Space Weather Daily News Archive

Strange and Beautiful: 'Icy' & 'Dusty' Clouds Up North, 30th December 2011
MOTHER OF PEARL: As December draws to a close, the first polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) of northern winter are forming around the Arctic Circle. Anders Gjørwad Hagen of Vinstra, Norway, photographed this specimen on Dec. 27th:

Also known as "nacreous" or "mother of pearl" clouds, icy PSCs form in the lower stratosphere when temperatures drop to around minus 85°C. Sunlight shining through tiny ice particles ~10µm across produce the characteristic bright iridescent colors by diffraction and interference.

The display Hagen witnessed formed in the wake of "Dagmar," a storm that "hit the coast of Norway with hurricane strength on Dec. 25th and 26th," says Hagen. "Record breaking winds up to 145 mph were recorded. While people on the coast dealt with the aftermath, photo enthusiasts inland saw the effects of high altitude winds in these colorful clouds. It was a beautiful display, but not comfortable to think of all the suffering lying behind it."

There was also a report from Sweden about these clouds on the 28th. Well, I have been thinking about the state of the magnetosphere that had been 'punctured' in the last few days. It has been hit a few times but none of the activity seem to be directly related to CMEs (or so we are told but again on the 30th it's red hot again...) and the message from that "The CME expected on Dec. 29th either missed Earth or its impact was too weak to notice. Geomagnetic activity remains generally low with only a 20% chance of storms around the Arctic Circle during the next 24 hours." is no surprise as the NASA's Enlil spaceweather prediction model, did not even have the CME to hit us at all. The weather in the North, Norway, Sweden and Finland has been wild, but to be honest, I am shocked by the admission that parts of the electricity grid in Finland have been destroyed and people will be without electricity for weeks. It's cold up there in Finland. See Power cuts plague up to 200,000 & Storm Dagmar Cuts Power, Causes Damage Across Nordic Region Was there a link with the magnetosphere being overloaded? Traditionally, meteorologists do not consider the impact of space weather, even though some scientists can predict hurricanes purely based on planetary alignments and the Russians are adamant that there is a link between earthquake activity and the Sun's Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF). Surely, there has to be a link with wild weather?

Christmas Day Solar Flares & CMEs, 26th December 2011
CMEs TARGET EARTH, MARS: The odds of a geomagnetic storm on Dec. 28th are improving with the launch of two CMEs toward Earth in less than 24 hours. NASA's STEREO-B spacecraft photographed this one on Dec. 26th:

According to a forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the cloud should squarely strike Earth's magnetic field on Dec. 28th at 20:22 UT (+/- 7 hours). Another CME could deliver a glancing blow a few hours earlier on the same date. The double impact is expected to spark mild-to-moderate geomagnetic storms at high latitudes.

More videos of these CME events can be found at

2011-12-27 15:08 Minor Geomagnetic Activity Possible
NOAA, 27th December 2011
"Coronal Mass Ejections from the last few days may cause isolated periods of G1(Minor) Geomagnetic Storm Activity on December 28-29. Updates here as appropriate."

M1.5 Solar Flare - Progression of a Solar Flare (Dec 26, 2011)
YouTube, 25th December 2011
"Here is a presentation of an M1.5 Solar Flare around Sunspot 1387 in the early hours of Dec 26, 2011. Video shows Images by SDO, EVE and also the Solar X-Rays as captured by the GOES Spacecraft."

Sunspot 1384 - C5.7 Flare and Eruption (Dec 26, 2011)
YouTube, 26th December 2011
Eruption around Sunspot 1384: A long duration C5.7 Solar Flare was detected around Sunspot 1384 this morning (Dec 26) and may have been the result of a filament channel eruption. An explosion resulted and may also be somewhat Earth directed.

NICT Real time Magnetosphere Simulation.
NICT News, 27th December 2011
There is a mystery of why the magnetosphere appears to have been pushed inwards on Christmas Day, I am thinking that requires some force but where did this force come from? Presumably, a CME came our way unannounced or it was another magnetar blast from deep space. There was a CME eruption in the early hours of Dec. 24th, but to arrive in just over 24 hours, it would have had to be travelling fast, but it has been done before, see 24th December 2011. On the 26th December at about 08.10 UT, the Earth's magnetic field got a severe shock and temporarily filled up with particles. I have checked through the files on the 27th and the magnetosphere looks 'dainty', so I am wondering if the ACE satellite instruments that supplies data are working properly... You can download NICT movies here, to take a look at recent movies.

Altocumulus Lenticularis cloud spotted floating over UK: Dazzling picture of rare formation
Daily Mail, 23rd December 2011
Captured on a crisp winter sky these dazzling clouds look nothing like their normal fluffy white counterpart. Known by experts as the Altocumulus Lenticularis, but dubbed the UFO cloud by many, this formation was spotted above Farsley in West Yorkshire yesterday.

And although incredibly rare in the UK the clouds are a common sighting in the Himalayas, Andes and Rocky Mountains.

All the talk of UFOs is absolutely stupid, hence why I changed the headline... So why is the UK getting 'rare' clouds right now? According to the Cloud Appreciation Society, the 'stack of plates' effect, seen in Lenticularis Clouds is caused by a moist airstream flowing over raised ground, such as a hill or mountain peak, when the airstream consists of alternating moister and drier layers. However, the fact that they are seen in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions implies that this cloud formation requires peculiar conditions that don't seem to apply to parts of Yorkshire (UK) that are basically flat, where these clouds have been seen. So, I am wondering whether we are back to atmospheric cooling caused by influxes of charged cosmic dust, see archives for more details.

In pictures: Rare lenticular clouds over West Yorkshire [7]
BBC News, 22nd December 2011

CME Impact & Hyder Flare Candidate, 14th November 2011
CME IMPACT: As predicted, a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on Nov. 12th at approximately 0600 UT. The impact was weak, however, so it is not yet clear whether the event will produce significant geomagnetic storms or auroras.

GRAND FILAMENT: A filament of magnetism more than 700,000 km long is curling around the sun's northeastern limb. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the vast structure during the early hours of Nov. 12th:

The filament is weighted down by solar plasma. If it erupts--as such filaments are prone to do--it could fall to the stellar surface below, setting off an explosion called a Hyder flare. Or it might fly upward, hurling fragments of itself into space. Amateur astronomers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor the region for developments. The only challenge will be fitting the whole thing into a single field of view.

The Hyder flare filament is worth a look... a whole half of one side of the Sun could literally just peel off and get flung into space...

Strange Bright Skies, 11th November 2011

SKY COLORS: Auroras in Nebraska are rare, but who needs auroras when you've got iridescence? University of Nebraska freshman Evan Ludes took this picture of cloud-colors over Omaha on the morning of Nov. 10th:

"I walked out of class this morning and was greeted by one of the best iridescence displays I've ever seen!" says Ludes. "The colors formed on the leading edge of a long stretch of cirrocumulus clouds."

Iridescent colors appear when sunlight shines through water droplets in the edges of clouds. The mechanism is diffraction. The colors are at their brightest and most distinct when the droplets are small and uniformly-sized. More Pics.

"I'm no optics expert," says Ludes, "but I'm guessing the colors were particularly vivid since these clouds were newly formed and therefore likely had water droplets of similar shape and size. It was incredible how distinct the bands of colors were even when zoomed in at 300mm!"

HUH! More amazing clouds over Norway too!

Doughnut Clouds over North Norway News, 11th November 2011

Beaming me up: Extraordinary column of red light shines down from the sky
Daily Mail, 9th November 2011
This is the moment a stunning red pillar of light topping several hundred feet appears to shoot down from space. The eerie sight could be seen for miles around and left motorists gawking at the unusual spectacle.

It was spotted by Rick Stankiewicz as he travelled along the motorway near Hearst, Canada, following a fishing trip. Mr Stankiewicz, 55, an amateur photographer since the age of 12, said: 'It was both eerie and beautiful to see it. 'At first glance my immediate reaction was that it must be a close encounter of the third kind - it was that convincing.

'The deep colours and clouds just added to the foreboding appearence of the pillar. 'I remember mumbling to myself "beam me up, Scotty" when I spotted it.

Again, ice crystals are invoked and I have tried to explained this in various different comments about what this is telling us about the occurence of 'rare' atmospheric phenomena, please see archives. The colour is beautiful but I wonder especially after the wild blood red aurora 'bursts' over the United states, but this photo was taken on June 10. This fact makes me think about how the air could be cold enough for ice crystals, but as I have already stated, it's not really about air temperature, it's about the kind of charge on the dust that has formed the ice crystals and whether there has been a 'push' of energy down to much lower levels in the atmosphere.... Well, as far as I am concerned, this is just more evidence that unusual cosmic energies are now streaming onto the planet.

CHANCE OF FLARES, 4th November 2011
CHANCE OF FLARES: NOAA forecasters have upgraded the chance of X-class solar flares today to 20%. The source would be AR1339, one of the biggest sunspots in many years. The active region rotated over the sun's eastern limb two days ago and now it is turning toward Earth. Solar flare alerts: text, voice.

The sunspot has already unleashed one X-flare on Nov. 3rd around 2027 UT. A movie from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the extreme ultraviolet flash:

So, a huge sunspot described as "one of the largest sunspots in years" has released a X-rated flare and quite an impressive CME that happened on the same day back on Nov 4, 2003, when the largest Solar Flare ever was recorded... I am sure there must be a few worried space weather forecasters hoping that Earth is not fried again with excessive radiation...

X28+ Solar Flare (Nov 4, 2003) - A Day in History
YouTube, 4th November 2011
"A Day in History: On this day back on Nov 4, 2003, the largest Solar Flare ever recorded took place around a Sunspot then numbered 486. The flare registered X28+, but was located on the southwest limb and out of direct Earth view. Some estimates are said that the flare was actually X40+. Watch the video below to relive the action." Thanks to

Monster sunspot poses threat of significant solar storms
Washington Post, 4th November 2011
The area is called Region 1339 and is being referred to as a "benevolent monster." 8.3 times bigger than Earth, it generated a solar flare which shot out a burst of charged particles yesterday but - this time - was not aimed at Earth.

However, this extremely active area of the sun will be facing earth for about two weeks. At this time there is no way to predict whether new flares will generate significant solar storms aimed towards Earth and, if so, whether they could result in geomagnetic storms capable of dire consequences on "life as we know it" .

It is interesting that the author of this article is aware of the seriousness of space weather, but I am not sure about the description of dire consequences on "life as we know it" because it sounds too dramatic even if it is true... Personally, I have come to the conclusion that most people are oblivious to anything not mundane, so any effort has to be directed to finding the very small number of people who can make a difference.

Dramatic auroras in the USA but no real explanations - Part III, 30th October 2011
SPOOKY AURORAS: Some observers are calling it the "almost-Halloween storm." Blood red auroras that filled the skies over parts of the United States and Europe on Oct. 24-25 were certainly spooky. Indeed, veteran photographer Mike Hollingshead of Blair, Nebraska, felt the best place to capture the display was from a graveyard:

"At first the auroras seemed ordinary--that is, until the 'red surge madness' began," says Hollingshead. "Crazy bright shrouds of red light danced behind the head stones for 15 minutes." Other observers saw ghostly forms, moody trees, green phantasms, and more disturbing shades of red. Could Halloween itself be any more frightening?

I normally like to highlight a story about orbs to mark Halloween, but I am still in shock about a mediocre geomagnetic storm producing blood red auroras in the deep South of the USA... So I do think the contribution is spooky enough... Even so, I don't really believe the photograph and I don't know if we have some exaggeration going on here with the description of 'red surge madness'...

The Geomagnetic Storm at Perry Lake, Kansas
YouTube, 24th October 2011

Dramatic auroras in the USA but no real explanations - Part II, 28th October 2011
48 HOURS LATER: People in the United States are still talking about the spooky red auroras ignited by a CME on Oct. 24th; Northern Lights were sighted as far south as Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama. 48 hours later, the show was over in the USA, but not in Scandinaviia where residual auroras continued to flicker around the Arctic Circle. Norwegian photographer Ole C. Salomonsen took this picture on Oct. 26th:

"I was out shooting the Milky Way when I got a nice surprise," says Salomonsen. "These amazing auroras were still dancing over Tromsø. Several meteors cut across the sky during the photo-shoot, so I was able to capture a fireball, the Northern Lights and the Milky Way in a single exposure!"

More photo-ops are in the offing. The sun is waking up from one of the deepest solar minima in a century, and the solar cycle seems to be rapidly gaining strength. Forecasters expect a new "Solar Max" in 2012-2013 with plenty of aurora storms between now and then.

This photo is incredible.... I just don't even know what to say anymore. Yes, people are talking because blood red auroras that are literally seen to explode over parts of the United States Is a major deal. Please note: you can get blood red auroras by exploding a nuclear device in the Van Allen Radiation belts, so I am now thinking that somebody somewhere does understand what happened, but whether anyone will offer a technical explanation is in doubt.

Dramatic auroras in the USA but no real explanations, 27th October 2011
AURORAS IN THE USA: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (2:00 pm EDT). The impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm. As night fell over North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous United States. A US Department of Defense satellite photographed the crossing:

"This shows the auroras on Oct. 25th at 0140 GMT," says Paul McCrone of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, California. He created the image using visual and infrared data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's F18 polar orbiter. DMSP satellites carry low light cameras for nightime monitoring of moonlit clouds, city lights and auroras. Some of the auroras recorded by the F18 on Oct. 25th were as bright as the city lights underneath.

This "big picture" from orbit makes sense of what happened next. The bright band swept south and, before the night was over, auroras were sighted in more than thirty US states: Alabama, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Maryland, Georgia, New Mexico, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Montana, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Arkansas and California.

Many observers, especially in the deep south, commented on the pure red color of the lights they saw. These rare all-red auroras sometimes appear at low latitudes during intense geomagnetic storms. They occur some 300 to 500 km above Earth's surface and are not yet fully understood.

This is not really an explanation because we need to know WHY the aurora swept south when normally this just does not happen. There is a force that we do not yet understand that "pushed" the aurora down an extremely long way and this normally only happens when there is a major geomagnetic storm, but according to the official K-Index this was not a MAJOR geomagnetic storm. This is what had to say on the 29th December 2010:

  • SUBSIDING STORM: The geomagnetic storm of Dec. 28th is subsiding. The G1-class disturbance began when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipped south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere and allowing solar wind to enter. Cameras onboard US Dept. of Defense meteorological satellites recorded bright bands of aurora borealis circling the polar regions north of Scandinavia: 29th December 2010

    So, if the 29th December 2010 was just a "crack", then what the hell happened on the 24th October 2011? Was this an example of the Earth's magnetic field being wide open to the cosmic elements? You don' need to be an expert to compare the two auroras images both of which are supposed to originate from geomagnetic storms of about the same magnitude G2/G1 and described as "not a terribly significant", according to official sources, see below for more details and links...

  • Aurora Timelapse from Michigan 10-24-11 (VIDEO)
    YouTube, 24th October 2011
    Northern Lights as seen east of Martin, Michigan on October 24 2011.

    As seen on numerous local broadcasts and local news outlets around the midwest. major network news NBC, ABC, Today show. Mlive. Accuweather. Woodtv8's Bill's Blog. Mentioned on the Detroit news, Chicago Tribune. NPR and many others.

    The timelapse spans 2h 20m from just after dusk to around 10:30 pm EDT.

Northern lights create red, pink haze in the sky
KSPR News, 24th October 2011
Parts of the United States saw a red and pink glow in the sky Monday.

The Northern Lights were seen in areas that don't often get to see the phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis.

The appearance of the red glow prompted the National Weather Service offce in Memphis to issue this statement:
The Space Weather Prediction Center reported a massive burst of solar wind blanketed the earth about eight hours sooner than predicted and allowed the phenomenon to be seen earlier and further south than usual.

There is a nice selection of red and pink aurora photos but the statement is particularly interesting. Please note: The minor CME that was expected had unexpected consequences by pushing the Earth's magnetosphere as far back as geosynchronous orbit and that allowed in the solar wind. At this moment, the enigma is how this innocuous CME managed to pack such a hard punch unless Earth was clipped by the massive blast that was supposedly headed for Mars... The magnetosphere has been filled up with cosmic radiation all day and is only now clearing up. This is what NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) had to say:
2011-10-25 12:51 Geomagnetic Storming and the Aurora

The Coronal Mass Ejection observed Saturday morning arrived late Monday (EDT and GMT), about 8 hours earlier than model guidance suggested. A single period reaching the G2 (Moderate) level was observed followed by several periods of G1 (Minor) storming. While not a terribly significant geomagnetic storm, it did happen at a time when most of the United States was dark or getting dark. Couple that with the fact that large parts of the US had very clear skies, and you've got some beautiful sightings of the aurora across the northern tier of the US. Unfortunately for sky watchers, the geomagnetic storm appears to be in decline and no further significant space weather is expected at this time.

Top News of the Day: NOAA/SWPC
It's almost like saying we were expecting a gust of wind but there was a hurricane instead... In the past, blood red auroras have only been associated with major geomagnetic storms and this was a red aurora that appeared in low latitudes without a major geomagnetic storm and whatever is being said by authorities to calm the public, this is a major enigma.

Here is the NASA's Integrated Space Weather Analysis System, Magnetopause Standoff for the 25th, you can click the image and pick up the latest on page 2 of the Magnetopause cygnet selection.

Magnetosphere video - Oct 24 - Auroras in Half of U.S!
YouTube, 25th October 2011

I am grateful, someone has put up the NICT movie. OK, this was a CME with a strongly south facing Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) component which is expected to provide the worse geomagnetic storms, but I have seen far worse blasts, without the accompanying auroras in the deep south of the USA. However, saying that, in this image, the inner magnetosphere, daytime and nighttime looks to be on fire.... The Earth's magnetic field must be in tatters...

Aurora Explosion from Ozark, Arkansas (10-24-2011) [VIDEO]
YouTube, 25th October 2011
"Here is a little time lapse from stills showing the faint aurora explode in just a few minutes to become some of the brightest aurora ever seen at such low latitudes."
This is not an exaggeration it does look like an explosion over Ozark, Arkansas...

Aurora borealis - Holland, Michigan [US] [VIDEO]
YouTube, 25th October 2011
Was tracking stars for trails .. something like an Aurora Borealis (Northern lights) crossed by. Not sure what it is - real or some other phenomenon. Its definitely not fake. @ holland, michigan, usa
It looks like this person had a camera set up to track stars and was lucky to get the aurora borealis too! This is a seriously cool 14 secs clip.

Norway: The most beautiful northern lights I've seen [17 PHOTOS], 25th October 2011
"New solar cycle gave Southern Norway is the second spectacular light show in the night sky in just one month. – Jeg har aldri sett noe liknende, sier fotografen. - I have never seen anything like it, says the photographer."
In the photo gallery, there is not one image of a blood red aurora. So... we must assume that the blast hit the USA full on and/or the ionosphere is 'weak' over the United States. I can't prove this last assertion, but we know the ionosphere has collapsed but we don't know just 'how' collapsed. All we are told is an average value, but problems over the United States due to all the 'experimentation' and weather engineering is something that I have been considering for a long time.
  • Unbelievable Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in Lapland, Finland [VIDEO]
    YouTube, 22nd September 2011
    "Amazing video of beautiful Aurora Borealis shot in Finnish Lapland in the winter of 2011"
    Ok, this is advertising for Lapland, Finland, but this professional video is breathtaking... Please note, there is a lot of green and purple auroras but NO 'blood red' auroras and this just emphasises that the USA had a major geomagnetic event."

Northern lights go way, way south (PHOTOS)
MSNBC News, 25th October 2011
A solar outburst sparked surprising displays of the northern lights as far south as Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina tonight, marking one of the farthest-reaching auroral shows in years.

As word spread about the geomagnetic storm, photos streamed onto the Web from the usual places, such as Norway, Sweden and Iceland, but also from locales that are typically too far south to see the northern lights: Oklahoma ... Kansas ... Kentucky ... Tennessee ... Virginia.

Among the websites tracking the fireworks are, the Weather Channel and Universe Today.

Arkansas photographer Brian Emfinger was alerted to the northern lights by's aurora alert. "I ran out and put my camera out and immediately saw reddish aurora," he wrote. "I ran out into the field, and within a few minutes the aurora went crazy!"

Hmmm..... These are some amazing photos. I seriously don't know what to think and I am perplexed because there are people reporting seeing the Northern Lights in Arkansas! This what we would expect from a MAJOR event! This implies that the Earth's magnetic field and magnetosphere is not providing much in the way of cosmic shielding... For the last three weeks we have seen the magnetosphere regularly filled up with radiation (NICT simulation), but I have yet to see an official source telling us when the Earth's magnetic field is acting like a sieve and we are literally open to the cosmic elements, but we must presume that nobody wants to explain how bad things are... What concerns me most is that there are a bunch of space probes watching the sun, but it looks like there was no inkling that anything serious was about to happen until the blast was picked up at L1. Lagrange Point L1 is where the ACE satellite floats in a gravity well that allows it to 'park up' in space and monitor the conditions in space. Magnetic field strength, polarity and direction, EM photon energy, atomic particle types, atomic particle density etc and it was severely whacked by a blast that probably took a further 45 minutes to travel 1 million miles and slam into Earth. Since there are no reports of blackouts, we can only presume 1. this is not the type of event that generates severe geomagnetically induced currents (GICS) or 2. there was enough warning for preventative measures to be taken. Well, I am thinking this might be the start of a new level of cosmic awareness and the Northern Lights might become a regular part of our reality. Thanks to Leticia for sending me this great link.

Expected CME, But Unexpected Consequences? Part II, 25th October 2011
AURORAS IN THE USA: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (2:00 pm EDT). The impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm. As night fell over North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous United States.

"Wow, wow, wow! These were the best Northern Lights I've seen since 2004," says Shawn Malone, who took this picture from the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan:

"The auroras filled the sky in every direction--even to the south," he says.

Indeed, the display spread all the way down to Arkansas. "When I saw the alert, I ran outside and immediately saw red auroras," reports Brian Emfinger from the city of Ozark. "Within a few minutes the auroras went crazy! Unbelievable!"

Auroras were seen or photographed in more than half of all US states including Alabama, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Montana, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas and California. Many observers, especially in the deep south, commented on the pure red color of the lights they saw. These rare all-red auroras sometimes appear during intense geomagnetic storms.

Comment: Go to for the photos, but this is such a major event, photos are being placed all over the internet. This means that hopefully, a few more people might wake up to the seriousness of our New Cosmic Reality.

Expected CME, But Unexpected Consequences?, 24th October 2011
AURORAS IN THE USA--NOW! Northern Lights have spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous USA. Observers report auroras as far south as Ohio: image. The display was caused by the CME impact described below.

CME IMPACT: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (02:00 pm EDT). Acording to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the impact caused a strong compression of Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar wind to penetrate all the way down to geosynchronous orbit for a brief period between 19:06 UT and 19:11 UT. Earth-orbiting spacecraft could have been directly exposed to solar wind plasma during that time.

The impact also sparked a geomagnetic storm, underway now. Geir øye sends this picture from ørsta, Norway:

As I stated, noted a small CME: "Partial Earth Directed CME: A disappearing solar filament from early Saturday morning did produce a bright and partially earth directed Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). There could be a small chance for minor geomagnetic storming by Oct 25." was too busy telling us about the megablast that was directed at the planet Mars but now this little 'nothing' CME has hit the planet and caused auroras in the USA as far south as Ohio.... so much for space weather forecasting... So, what would have happened if the megablast had been coming towards us? Would they have turned the national power grids off? NICT has removed the CME impact image, I am sure it was terrible... I have checked the ENLIL Heliosphere prediction model and that had NOTHING predicted to impact the Earth's magnetic field... Quite frankly, space weather forecasters need to do better... See the NOAA/SWPC and USA Air force Geophysical Activity Summaries for the 23rd and 24th, below:
NOAA Solar Report - [SIDC Report]

Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.

Updated 2011 Oct 24 2200 UTC

Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity SDF Number 297 Issued at 2200Z on 24 Oct 2011

Geophysical Activity Summary 23/2100Z to 24/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was at mostly quiet with a single active period observed between 24/1800 - 2100Z. The ACE spacecraft observed an interplanetary shock passage at 24/1748Z with a subsequent sudden impulse of 13 nT observed at the Boulder magnetometer at 24/1832Z. Observations at ACE revealed increases in temperature, density and wind speed while the Bz component of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) decreased southward to -20 nT for a brief period. IMF Bt reached 20 nT. Wind velocities increased from a steady 350 km/s to 525 km/s and remained so through the end of the period. This mostly likely was the arrival of a CME that occurred at 22/0058Z in association with an eruptive filament. The greater than 10 MeV proton event that began at 23/1500Z ended at 23/1605Z. A peak flux of 13 pfu was reached at 23/1535Z. Earlier in the period, another, weaker shock passage was observed in the ACE solar wind data at 23/2320Z. This was most likely the result of a glancing blow from a CME associated with an M1.6 x-ray event observed of the NW limb at 20/0325Z .

Source: Forecast - Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity Issued: 2011 Oct 24 2200 UTC
This is from the day before.
IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 22/2100Z to 23/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was quiet. A greater than 10 MeV proton event began at 23/1500Z. So far the observed peak flux was 13 pfu at 23/1535Z. The source of the event is believed to be yesterdays long-duration M1 flare at 22/1110Z in Region 1314 (N29, L=053). IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected be mostly quiet becoming quiet to unsettled with a chance of active periods on 25 October. This activity is expected in response to the arrival of a CME that occurred at 22/0058Z in association with an eruptive filament. The greater than 10 MeV proton event is expected to end by 24 October.

Source: Forecast - Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity Issued: 2011 Oct 23 2200 UTC
I am sure there will be some further discussion about this event.

Stuff Happening....., 23rd October 2011
SPACE WEATHER FORECAST FOR MARS: A bright CME blasted off the sun yesterday, Oct. 22nd, and it appears to be heading for Mars. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab expect the cloud to reach the Red Planet on Oct. 26th (forecast track).

WATCH OUT MARS: A significant CME blasted off the sun today, Oct. 22nd, around 1100 UT. Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the cloud is heading for Mars, due to hit the Red Planet on Oct. 26th. [CME: movie, forecast track] 22nd October 2011

MASSIVE CME directed towards Mars, but a small one coming at us too... See for more details, are playing this down as we seem to be having a major proton storm at the same time that we have had two large gamma ray bursts on the 22nd see GRB Real Time Sky Map . There is also a planetary alignment for the 26th that some think might induce earthquakes. Quite frankly, I think there are too many interplanetary factors to take into account, so expert knowledge is required to sort out what has caused the recent large 7+ earthquakes.

Radiation Storm in Progress: A minor S1 Level Radiation Storm is now in progress due to the CME activity from yesterday., 23rd October 2011
ALERT: Proton Event 10MeV Integral Flux exceeded 10pfu
Begin Time: 2011 Oct 23 1505 UTC
NOAA Scale: S1 - Minor has a new NOAA proton monitor which I will also add to this website. This is a change, when I wrote my book, spaceweather scientists stated that protons storms usually last for 30 minutes but in recent years, they have sometimes gone on for days...

Global D-Region Absorption Product (DRAP2, current)
From NOAA: "A proton polar cab absorption (PCA) event is currently in progress; polar propagation of shortwave radio signals is degraded."

Is this a serious breach in the magnetosphere?
NICT, 10th October 2011

I got a message in my email from Conchita in The Netherlands, asking me to look at the magnetosphere, the message was sent with a screen print of 6 NICT images and a mention to "take a look at the magnetosphere on 10/10/211 05:29:09 UT". What I did was to use the exact time she saw the image to pick it up from that database, just because it is not listed does not mean it's not there. It seems that images that these Japanese scientists think are the most disturbing for the general public to view are quickly removed. Anyway, I also downloaded a few others and I think the ACE satellite data is 'normal' rather than there being a problem (but I admit I could be wrong), whatever, I think these are examples of breaches. At the same time, there was a sudden arrival of particles as there is a huge SPIKE that goes off the density chart, that can be seen in both images (click images to see all the relevant NICT data) and this might explain the weird contortion of the magnetosphere in response. Please note: if you have a laptop it is much easier to physically adjust the screen because the pressure values are low but there is a 'wisp' of a magnetosphere to be seen, but it is certainly not normal (accept for the fact that these days, there no longer seems to be a situation of 'normal'). Please also note that the magnetic field lines have reversed too, but that happens all the time too... Btw, this is the way I remember the magnetic field attributes: blue is for blue skies being North and red is for red soiled ground and South.

I realise that there is a much greater awareness of space weather and that our world faces some major issues but at this time I am still not convinced that this has filtered all the way down into society to the people who can start making changes. The best example I can give is the situation in The Netherlands, where it seems that Space Weather was not well know to academic staff at Delft Technical University before I gave my presentation. Yet, in June 2011, The Netherlands lost 3 TV/radio broadcasting towers in 1 day, 80% of the country lost it's radio coverage, some TV and communications for emergency services. A friend commented that this seemed to be a bit strange... My response was that there was probably too many charged particles in the wind because it was very stormy weather on that day and this might have caused the 3 separate electrical fires across the country... Even on a good day, the Earth's magnetic field is leaking like a sieve and letting in cosmic energies, but when there are breaches, we are completely left open to the cosmic elements. My bet is that all the towers were designed the same way and that is why they all failed at once, it's the same problem with mass producing satellites, if one fails they all fail for the same reason... For humanity to survive our changing reality, people need to understand the issues and start implementing new solutions. Talk, talk is not enough.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: A Strange Sunrise Over Argentina
NASA, 10th October 2011
Why would a rising Sun look so strange? No one is yet sure.

What is clear is that the above unusual sunrise was captured last month from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The body of water in the foreground is Rio de La Plata, considered by many to be the widest river in the world. Although the above image is actually a combination of a normal and a very short exposure needed to avoid oversaturating the bright Sun, the photographer saw this unusual structure with his own eyes, indicating that this effect was caused by neither reflections nor distortions in the camera or lens. What looks like arms on this monster illusion might actually be, for example, low level clouds just thick enough to scatter sunlight without completely blocking the Sun.

Well, the strange atmospheric affects continue.... but this is just bizarre, nobody has a clue... 5th October 2011

GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: NOAA forecasters estimate a 30% chance of minor geomagnetic storms on Oct. 5th and 6th as a series of two to three CMEs sweeps past our planet. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. Storm alerts: text, voice.

FARSIDE CME: Yesterday, October 4th, something exploded on the far side of the sun and propelled a spectacular CME into space. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the cloud as it emerged from behind the sun's limb:

Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab have combined observations from SOHO and the twin STEREO spacecraft to calculate the CME's trajectory: It is heading for Mercury. The CME will hit the innermost planet on Oct. 5th around 04:30 UT plus minus 7 hours. Energetic particles accelerated by shock waves at the leading edge of the cloud could also have minor effects on the MESSENGER probe in orbit around Mercury. The CME's forecast track shows that Venus might also receive a blow on Oct. 6th.

CMEs and Sundiving Comets (Update), 3rd October 2011
COMET AND CME: A comet discovered by amateur astronomers on Friday, Sept. 30th, disintegrated in spectacular fashion the very next day when it plunged into the sun. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the comet's last hours. The end was punctuated by an unexpected explosion:

Watch the movie again. The timing of the CME so soon after the comet dove into the sun suggests a link. But what? There is no known mechanism for comets to trigger solar explosions. Before 2011 most solar physicists would have discounted the events of Oct. 1st as pure coincidence--and pure coincidence is still the most likely explanation. Earlier this year, however, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) watched another sungrazer disintegrate in the sun's atmosphere. On July 5, 2011, the unnamed comet appeared to interact with plasma and magnetic fields in its surroundings as it fell apart. Could a puny comet cause a magnetic instability that might propagate and blossom into a impressive CME? The question is not so crazy as it once seemed to be.

DOUBLE ERUPTION: On October 1st around 10:17 UT, widely-spaced sunspots 1302 and 1305 erupted in quick succession, revealing a long-distance entanglement which was not obvious before. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the double blast:

Since it was launched in 2010, SDO has observed many "entangled eruptions." Active regions far apart but linked by magnetic fields can explode one after another, with disturbances spreading around the stellar surface domino-style. Saturday's eruption appears to be the latest example.

The part of the eruption centered on sunspot 1305 hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. The relatively slow-moving (500 km/s) cloud is expected to reach our planet on Oct. 4th or 5th, possibly causing geomagnetic storms when it arrives.

It looks like did not get the message that NASA wanted this CME eruption caused by a comet censored... So, here we are given the full SOHO technicolour version! But wait a minute, we are also provided with a sensible explanation for WHY comets can generate massive eruptions on the sun!?! Goodness! It looks like our solar scientists are actually thinking...

  • Comet Neat and CME's, May 26, 2005
    "How would an electric Sun respond to the approach of a relatively small but strongly charged object? Comets typically display a bright coma extending for hundreds of thousands of miles around the hidden nucleus. They can also entrain an immense envelope of hydrogen gas. We do not normally see the hydrogen envelopes of comets because Earth's atmosphere absorbs their light. But spacecraft can detect them and measure them. Electrical theorists suggest that the ability of larger comets to hold their hydrogen clouds in place against the solar wind is a good indicator of the comet's powerful charge.

    The influence of the comet's electrical field is far more significant than its trivial mass in relation to the Sun. What will occur electrically if the charge plasma or "atmosphere" of the comet penetrates the insulating double layer of the Sun's plasma sheath? An analogy might be the effect of a pebble from space penetrating into the upper atmosphere of the Earth where the intruder's plasma trail short circuits the Earth's electric field to cause a high altitude discharge."
    It looks like another victory of the EU theorists...

CMEs and Sundiving Comets, 1st October 2011
COMET AND CME: SUNDIVING COMET: A comet is diving into the sun today. Discovered on Sept. 29th by a group of four independent comet hunters (M. Kusiak, S. Liwo, B. Zhou and Z. Xu), the icy visitor from the outer solar system is evaporating furiously as it approaches the hot star. SOHO (the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) is monitoring the death plunge:

The doomed comet appears to be a member of the Kreutz family. Kreutz sungrazers are fragments from the breakup of a single giant comet many centuries ago. They get their name from 19th century German astronomer Heinrich Kreutz, who studied them in detail. Several Kreutz fragments pass by the sun and disintegrate every day. Most, measuring less than a few meters across, are too small to see, but occasionally a big fragment like this one attracts attention. [latest images]

Interesting, decides to not provide an update on this major solar event, despite video being available from the billions of dollars worth of space probes watching the sun 24/7. Of course, these space probes have been paid for by taxpayers, but NASA et al. don't want to provide observational proof to support alternative theories about how the Sun and comets interact...

  • Update 3rd October 2011

    REALIST NEWS - Got the whole comet hitting sun video minus a little bit of removed frames
    YouTube, 2nd October 2011 Gotcha!
    Someone found the missing SOHO movie of the massive comet slamming into the sun. The coma of the comet turned into a huge streak that I have never seen before and literally ignitied the Sun, almost like a spark plug... I think it was the comet being so large that scared NASA and not the CME... Thanks to Frank in Sweden for the notification.
Three CMEs + Comet - STEREO Ahead COR2 (Oct 2, 2011)
YouTube, 2nd October 2011
"Several Coronal Mass Ejections are seen in this STEREO Behind COR2 movie. The first one was caused by a long duration M1.2 solar flare on Oct 1 around Sunspot 1305. The second was a farside event. The 3rd was during the early hours of Oct 2nd and resulted from an M3.9 Solar Flare around Sunspot 1305. Also notice the sundiving comet."

It looks like a comet caused a MASSIVE eruption on the Sun, but this has been deleted from most other coronagraph movies as others have noted. This is an altered official .gif version here. Someone managed to get a clip of the comet and they are right, it is HUGE! Where did that come from? HUGE-HUGE Object/Comet Heading Toward Sun 10/1/11 This is a theoretical problem for NASA who refuse to acknowledge what comets really represent, see archives for references. This has now become a really childish game.

  • 2nd October 2011

    DOUBLE ERUPTION: On October 1st around 10:17 UT, widely-spaced sunspots 1302 and 1305 erupted in quick succession, revealing a long-distance entanglement which was not obvious before. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the double blast:

    Since it was launched in 2010, SDO has observed many "entangled eruptions." Active regions far apart but linked by magnetic fields can explode one after another, with disturbances spreading around the stellar surface domino-style. Yesterday's eruption appears to be the latest example.

    The part of the eruption centered on sunspot 1305 hurled a coronal mass ejection toward Earth. The relatively slow-moving (500 km/s) cloud is expected to reach our planet on Oct. 4th, possibly causing geomagnetic storms when it arrives. 29th September 2011

    REVERBERATIONS: A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 26th, sparking one of the strongest magnetic storms in years. At the peak of the Kp=8 disturbance, auroras were sighted around both poles and more than half a dozen US states. Magnetic reverberations continued for more than 48 hours. Here is the view from forests of Skibotn, Norway, two days after the CME impact:

    "The auroras were some of the most spectacular I have ever witnessed," says photographer Ole C. Salomonsen. "Actually it was the sickest thing I have ever seen in the sky!!"

    Magnetosphere Compressed and Collapsed today 9.26.2011?
    YouTube, 26th September 2011
    OK, this is the only NICT movie I have come across (but I have not been looking), so you will have to excuse the doom warning at the end, but the CME blast nearly wiping out our magnetosphere is quite impressive! Btw, according to some spurious NICT images, it seems that the ACE satellite detectors might have been busted for a while early on the 26th... we really do need a new upstream solar monitor at L1....

    Serious Space Weather - 26th September 2011, 26th September 2011

    IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field at approximately 12:15 UT on Sept. 26th. The impact caused significant ground currents in Norway. Also, the Goddard Space Weather Lab reports a "strong compression of Earth's magnetosphere. Simulations indicate that solar wind plasma [has penetrated] close to geosynchronous orbit starting at 13:00UT." Geosynchronous satellites could therefore be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic fields. Stay tuned for updates.

    Rob Stammes Image taken: Sep. 26, 2011
    Location: Lofoten, Norway, polarlightcenter.
    Details: Sept.26 2011,at 12.36 UTC a magnificent shockwave from a CME arrived in our atmosphere,with an effect on all of my instruments. The shockwave passed the ACE satellite at 11.52 UTC, just 44 minutes earlier. Details here.

    Yes, it does look bad, I quickly caught the image in the right before it disappeared, I have never seen the magnetosphere in that condition... but the proof that things are bad are the reports of ground currents in Lofoten, Norway. Please note, the world was given 44 minutes from when the CME shockwave hit the ACE satellite at L1, 1 million miles away, to when the geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) were induced and recorded. This is exactly how the national power grids will be destroyed if the right circumstances prevail and are allowed. So, the Sun is firing bullets and we have some solar Russian roulette...

    Long Duration M-Class Flare + Bright CME, 24th September 2011

    Update: In addition to the M and X-Class activity around Sunspot 1302, Sunspot 1295 which is rotating onto the western limb is also producing M-Class activity. A new Sunspot that formed in the southern hemisphere also produced an M1 s/f at 21:30 UTC Saturday. Numerous Type II and Type IV Sweep frequency events are taking place as well as 10cm radio bursts (TenFlares). Continue to monitor the Solar X-Rays for further activity.

    Long Duration M-Class Flare + Bright CME

    Another strong Solar Flare reaching M7.1 has taken place after the initial X-Class flare earlier today and was very long in duration. A bright Full-Halo CME is included with this event and a portion of this cloud may be earth directed. You can view a presentation I created below. Presentation of the M7.1 Flare + CME

    Another strong Solar Flare reaching M7.1 has taken place after the initial X-Class flare earlier today and was very long in duration. A bright Full-Halo CME is included with this event and a portion of this cloud may be earth directed. You can view a presentation I created below.

    Another X-Class Flare:

    Sunspot 1302 is back at it again, this time producing an X1.9 Solar Flare at 09:40 UTC. This major event resulted in an R3 level radio blackout as well as producing a 10.7cm Radio Burst (TenFlare). A fast moving type II sweep frequency event is reported also. As this massive Sunspot continues to rotate into better position, the chances for an earth directed Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) will improve. This explosion did produce a CME, however it does not look to be very significant at this time. Stay Tuned to, which is the number one spot for all of the latest information.

    This is a decent summary report because there have been a lot of X-rated flares and and CMEs this week and there is evidence of the Earth's ionosphere being affected. There is a nice video at but I have also added the same link below, the activity captured in the video might explain the major blackout in Chile, see Chile's capital hit with widespread power outag. This is all copied because solarham does not keep reports for long or keep archives.

    M7.1 Solar Flare + CME - Progression of a Solar Flare (Sept 24, 2011)
    YouTube, 24th September 2011
    "Another strong Solar Flare reaching M7.1 has taken place after the initial X-Class flare earlier today and was very long in duration. A bright Full-Halo CME is included with this event and a portion of this cloud may be earth directed. I put together this special presentation showing what a Solar Flare looks like while in progress and the resulting CME afterwards. Visit for the latest solar information."

    Space Weather: 4 CMEs on the way!, 20th September 2011

    (In this NASA Enlil spaceweather prediction model, the Yellow dot is Earth and we have been told there have been 4 CMEs and at least one is on course to clip Earth, this is the simulation of the first CME, billions of tons of plasma in a huge cloud that can be seen here in the shape of an arc. You can click the image here to access the animation.)

    FOUR CMEs: On Sept. 19th, the STEREO-SOHO fleet of spacecraft surrounding the sun detected six coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Two of the clouds rapidly dissipated. The remaining four, however, are still intact and billowing through the inner solar system. Click to view a movie of their forecasted paths:

    According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the movie, one CME should hit Mercury on Sept. 20th at 05:40 UT while another delivers a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 22th at 23:00 UT. All impact times have an uncertainty of plus or minus 7 hrs.

    A new uptick in solar activity.... 6 CMEs in one go? Well, in the Halloween storms (Oct-Nov 2003), there was 140 solar flares and 80+ CMEs in 2 weeks and we survived that... Presumably, the primary focus and concern is whether Earth is now dropping her shields (magnetic field) to permit more energy into Earth's atmosphere during solar storms. A NASA press release, A Giant Breach in Earth's Magnetic Field, reveals that Earth dropped her shields in June 2007 and the worry is that this will continue to happen. OK, this is inconvenient for us, but at this time, cosmic housekeeping has got priority.

    Six coronal mass ejections in 24 hours (Video), 22nd September 2011

    Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
    Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
    Updated 2011 Sep 19 2200 UTC

    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity SDF Number 262 Issued at 2200Z on 19 Sep 2011

    IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 18/2100Z to 19/2100Z: Solar activity was low. Region 1296 (N26W05) produced a long duration C6 flare at 19/0737Z. Region 1301 (N20E63) produced a C6/Sn flare at 19/1541Z. SOHO LASCO imagery observed 4 CME limb events in the past 24 hours, none of which are expected to be geoeffective. Region 1295 remains a beta gamma magnetic configuration.

    IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be low for the next three days (20-22 September). A chance for isolated M-class flares exists from Region 1295.

    IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 18/2100Z to 19/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was mostly quiet.

    IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet for the next three days (20-22 September).

    3-day Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity, NOAA / Space Weather Prediction Center

    Amazing Timelapse Video from the Space Station
    Universe Today, 18th September 2011
    Science educator James Drake built this amazing timelapse video from the perspective of the International Space Station as it flew over North and South America. He created this video by downloading a series of 600 photographs that were available online at the Gateway to Astronomy Photograph of Earth, and then stitching them together into a complete video. You can see more of James work at his blog: infinity imagined.

    At about 0:31 there are flashes of electric blue bright light in the shape of inverted cones. My first thought was a terrestrial gamma ray flash, but I now think these are sprites, see Global electric circuit of the Earth and the sprite image here for comparison.

    Space Weather 9th September 2011, 9th September 2011
    GEOMAGNETIC STORM WATCH: A series of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) propelled toward Earth by the recent eruptions of sunspot 1283 will deliver glancing blows to Earth's magnetic field on Sept. 9th - 11th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead. Aurora alerts: text, voice.

    ACTIVE SUNSPOT: Sunspot 1283 is producing flares so intense they are visible through solar telescopes in backyards 93 million miles away. Amateur astronomer Andy Devey photographed this one, and M6-class eruption, from Barnsley UK on Sept. 8th:

    The magnetic canopy of sunspot 1283 has an unstable "beta-gamma-delta" configuration that harbors energy for more powerful eruptions. NOAA forecasters estimate a 75% chance of M-flares and a 25% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

    Hmmm.... "Sunspot 1283 is producing flares so intense they are visible through solar telescopes in backyards 93 million miles away." The massive CME that was directed towards Mercury is probably making sun watchers nervous too.

    Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) Sept 4 to Sept 8
    YouTube, 8th September 2011
    "The Sun has come to life with multiple Solar Flares both on the earth facing side and backside. This awesome LASCO Movie shows numerous CMEs blasting away from the Sun between Sept 4 and Sept 8th, 2011."

    UFO sighted in many Chinese cities
    People's Daily Online, 31st August 2011
    On Aug. 20, a huge glowing bubble-shaped floating object was spotted in many cities in China.

    Some witness claimed that the glowing object grew bigger and bigger as time passed. "It was several hundred times bigger than the moon, with a diameter of more than 50 nautical miles. About 20 minutes later, the shining bubble became darker and gradually disappeared," one witness said.

    On Aug. 20, a pilot of China Southern Airlines posted on the microblog that the unidentified flying object was more than 10,000 meters above Shanghai when it was spotted. He said he was in the cockpit when he saw the object. Later his post was followed and forwarded by many internet users.

    Unfortunately, it seems that anything in the sky that people don't understand is designated as a UFO and that is because most people have no idea what is going on in our ionosphere. Plasma bubbles are major problem for GPS and satellite communications! This is one of the reasons the "First Workshop of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI)" in Egpyt, meeting Nov. 6th through 10th, 2010, was convened by the United Nations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Scientists from more than 30 countries, especially scientists from Africa were especially welcome, see The International Space Weather Initiative. Thus, I can only presume that the fact that people are now seeing these bubbles at ground level, implies that the ionosphere has lowered dramatically. This is not just mere speculation because this was announced by a NASA press release in see, Boundary Between Earth's Upper Atmosphere And Space Has Moved To Extraordinarily Low Altitudes, NASA Instruments Document, but after the last solar minimum, there has been no notice that the height of the ionosphere has recovered.

    A Pileus Iridescent Cloud Over Ethiopia
    Astronomy Picture of the Day , 24th August 2011
    Explanation: Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The above image was taken just after the picturesque sight was noticed by chance by a photographer in Ethiopia. A more detailed picture of the same cloud shows not only many colors, but unusual dark and wavy bands whose origins are thought related to wave disturbances in the cloud.

    Incredible! However you need to look at the detailed picture, it reminds me of the structure found in noctilucent clouds but then that becomes a major puzzle... Again, the water droplets are a slight diversion from the truth that the water droplets form on condensation nuclei that are most likely cosmic dust with very special properties, usually atmospheric scientists will only admit to ice crysals and not bother mentioning how those ice crystals are formed.

    Norway: Aurora Outburst, 25th August 2011
    AURORA OUTBURST: Sometimes it pays to wait. "I watched the sky for three hours last night (Aug. 24-25) hoping to see some auroras," says Frank Olsen of Stø, Norway. "I was about to give up when the sky erupted in color." The 10-minute outburst was bright enough to shine through twilight and lunar glare: [...]

    The display was caused by a thin but surprisingly effective solar wind stream which has been gently buffeting Earth's magnetic field for the past two days. NOAA forecasters estimate a 15% chance of continued geomagnetic activity tonight; high-latitude sky watchers should remain (patiently) alert for auroras.

    So, there are now more and more 'twilight' auroras? Gone are the days when atmospheric scientists tell us that the skies have to be dark to see auroras. Today auroras are very strongly energised as a weak magnetic field allows more and more celestial energy to pour into our skies.

    Photos: Enormous spherical mass seen in Shanghai & Beijing skies
    Shanghai 1st, 23 August, 2011
    And now the Truth has arrived in Shanghai and Beijing! Following news last week of a UFO being the reason why Chongqing's airport had to divert flights, an unexplained mass event occurred at approximately 9pm on Saturday night in Shanghai. A 'huge white ball' flying 10.7km (35,100 feet) high in the air was reported to the East China Air Traffic Control Bureau by civil aviation pilots, and apparently grew 'bigger and bigger' as time passed. [...]
    On the evening of the 20th at 9pm, on flight number 6554 in the Shanghai area, I discovered at an altitude of 10,700 meters an enormous spherical glowing heavenly body, that grew in size from small to large. Going by rules of geometry, it was larger than the moon by several hundred times, with an estimated diameter of over 50 nautical miles. It faded away after 20 minutes, and was extremely shocking, with dozens of flight crews also reporting to Shanghai! [...]

    "The white round bubble appears in the sky and then expanded quickly, until it disappeared five minutes later," said Yu Jun, a former editor of a scientific magazine and amateur astronomer who took pictures of the object.

    "I believe the glowing bubble is not just a natural astronomical phenomenon, but is a phenomenon occurring around Earth, perhaps in the upper atmosphere, caused by the launching of rockets or satellites," said Yu.

    So, we have a new presumably high energy plasma phenomenon [bubbles of light] that can expand to an enormous size and contract in our atmosphere, well that's novel.... There was an expanding bubble in the sky reported at the end of June in Hawaii, see UFO, 'Star Gate' or just a ballistic missile? Mysterious bubble-like light burst seen over Hawaii (Video). Also, Hawaii expanding atmospheric bubble video at vimeo. This is getting incredible and surreal...

    UFO [?] sighted by Chinese airline pilots
    Airline pilots claim sighting a UFO[?] hundreds of times larger than the moon above Shanghai
    CNN GO, 23rd August 2011
    An unidentified flying object (UFO) was reported above Shanghai and Beijing at the same time on August 20. The "colossal unidentified glowing ball" was first sighted around 9 p.m. last Saturday above Shanghai by a Chinese civil aviation pilot flying China Southern Airlines flight CZ655 from Shanghai to Changchun.
    This is NOT a UFO, but another strange atmospheric (presumably high energy) phenomenon that is being reported around the world...

    What Is the Mysterious, Glowing Bubble Spotted Above Beijing? (ITN news video)
    The Blaze, 25th August 2011
    "The Blaze contacted NASA to see if it could offer an explanation, but officials were unavailable for comment."
    What is wrong with NASA pointing out the obvious when Earth is now experiencing strange atmospheric plasma phenomena that can only take place in a high energy plasma environment? The best example is the Norwegian Spiral, but rocket fuel dumps that can generate perfect spirals and perfect spherical bubbles is the preferred nonsense explanation.

    Fox News video: Mysterious Bubble Cloud Appears Over Chinese Cities
    YouTube, 26h August 2011
    August 25, 2011 Q13 News
    Hmmm... it described here as "glowing", it must have been quite a sight...
    • Giant 'soap bubble' found floating in space
      New Scientist, 23rd July 2009
      "IT LOOKS like a soap bubble or perhaps even a camera fault, but the image at right is a newly discovered planetary nebula. Planetary nebulae, which got their name after being misidentified by early astronomers, are formed when an ageing star weighing up to eight times the mass of the sun ejects its outer layers as clouds of luminous gas (see Why stars go out in a blaze of glory). Most are elliptical, double-lobed or cigar-shaped, evolving after stars eject gas from each pole (see a gallery of the nebulae).

      The Cygnus Soap Bubble, was discovered by an American amateur astronomer, and officially named PN G75.5+1.7. It provides another good example of how the properties of plasma and electromagnetism can generate many diverse manifestations on vastly different scales, that can be repeated in the atmosphere of our planet on very short timescales.

    • Welcome to planet soap bubble: The extraordinary close-up pictures that look like an alien world
      Daily Mail, 25th August 2011
      Well, if you like bubbles....

    Alaska's mysterious floating orange goo identified as 'rusting' fungal spores but local Eskimos fear fish will be poisoned
    Daily Mail, 19th August 2011
    * Isolated native community worried about damage to food supp

    The mystery of the floating orange goo has been solved. [???]

    But the results have only served to increase the fears of the small Alaskan village which spotted the colourful sight struck on their lagoon for the first time ever two weeks ago.

    It soon disappeared but the local Eskimo community, which relies on the surrounding waters for its very existence, feared long-term damage to the water quality and particularly the fish and plants they use for food.

    At first the leading theory suggested the goo was made up of millions of microscopic eggs. But now scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have confirmed the presence of fungal spores which create rust, explaining the luminous colour.

    So, as expected, the story of microscopic eggs has been proven to be false. We will not get the real truth for a long time, presumably after scientists have spent months if not years looking at this ejecta. However, the latest news of fungal spores that creates rust suggests even more strongly that this stuff was manufactured by a comet. Simply, this ejecta was spread over such a large area, it had to come from a major airbourne source. This is just common sense when we view the fact that this is the tundra of Alaska, a barren place, but the land was thickly coated with this strange goo and deposits were even found 150 miles southeast of Kivalina, the main site of this deposit. The locals have a right to be worried.

    VENUS AND THE SOLAR STORM, 17th August 2011
    VENUS AND THE SOLAR STORM: (Note: No planets were harmed in the production of this movie.) Yesterday, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory witnessed a spectacular explosion on the sun that seemed to pass perilously close to Venus. Did the cloudy planet survive? Play the movie for answers:

    As the movie shows, the CME passed harmlessly. There was no collision, and it wasn't even close. Although Venus seems to be near the sun, the planet is actually more than 100 million kilometers away. The two bodies are "in conjunction" this week as Venus moves almost directly behind the sun. Because of this arrangement, more CME-Venus conjunctions are possible in the days ahead.

    The Venus CME hit - 16th August 2011, 17th August 2011

    Sun unleashes largest solar flare in five years, sending 10 billion ton storm cloud hurtling through space at 5million mph
    Daily Mail, 10th August 2011
    The sun unleashed an unusually powerful solar flare yesterday, the largest in nearly five years. The eruption launched a ten billion ton storm cloud hurtling through space at five million miles per hour. Scientists said the event took place on the side of the sun that was not facing Earth, so there will be little impact to satellites and communication systems. [...]

    Scientists have warned that solar storms could have 'devastating effects' on human technology when they hit a peak in two years' time. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration assistant secretary Kathryn Sullivan said the storms pose a growing threat to critical infrastructure such as satellite communications, navigation systems and electrical transmission equipment. Solar storms release particles that can temporarily disable or permanently destroy fragile computer circuits.

    Dr Sullivan, a former Nasa astronaut who in 1984 became the first woman to walk in space, earlier this year told a UN weather conference in Geneva that 'it is not a question of if, but really a matter of when a major solar event could hit our planet'. She is not the only expert to issue a warning about the threat posed by solar storms.

    In February, astronomers warned that mankind is now more vulnerable to such an event than at any time in history - and that the planet should prepare for a global Hurricane Katrina-style disaster.

    A massive eruption of the sun would save waves of radiation and charged particles to Earth, damaging the satellite systems used for synchronising computers, airline navigation and phone networks.

    OK, I have not come across these comments or anything from scientists at this conference but this quote is quite stupendous...
    "...mankind is now more vulnerable to such an event [Solar Storm] than at any time in history."

    I believe it would have been more accurate to state that our modern technological world is now more vulnerable to such an event [Solar Storm] than at any time in modern times. Massive geomagnetic storms causing electricity to flow through the air occur on a regular basis. The difference now is with the sudden onset of space weather changing the properties of space, means that a massive geomagnetic storm will cause even more damage for unprotected electronics and our national power grids that will be fried in the process, thereby causing a societal collapse unless we wake-up and start doing business differently on this planet.

    Sun Unleashes Largest Solar Flare in Years, 9th August 2011
    "This flare had a GOES X-ray magnitude of X6.9, meaning it was more than 3 times larger than the previous largest flare of this solar cycle - the X2.2 that occurred on Feb 15, 2011," scientists with NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, a space observatory that monitors the sun, wrote in an update."

    How Does the Sun Spark X-Class Solar Flares?, 10th August 2011

    The Sun's Wrath: Worst Solar Storms in History, 9th August 2011

    Space Weather 9-11th august, 10th August 2011
    MAJOR FLARE, NOT EARTH-DIRECTED: On August 9th at 0805 UT, sunspot 1263 produced an X7-class solar flare--only the third X-flare of new Solar Cycle 24 and the most powerful so far. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the explosion's extreme ultraviolet flash:

    The brunt of the explosion was not Earth directed. Nevertheless, radiation from the flare created waves of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere, briefly disrupting communications at some VLF and HF radio frequencies. The blast also accelerated a mild torrent of protons toward Earth; they can be seen speckling the images in this SOHO movie of a CME emerging from the blast site. The CME will probably miss Earth. At this time, however, we cannot rule out a glancing blow from the flank of the cloud on August 11th or 12th. Stay tuned for additional analysis. Solar flare alerts: text, voice. X-flares of Solar Cycle 24: Feb. 15, 2011 (X2), March 9, 2011 (X1), Aug. 9, 2011 (X7). Before these three, the previous X-flare occured on Dec.14, 2006, (X1) during old Solar Cycle 23.

    The brunt of the explosion was not Earth directed. Nevertheless, a minor proton storm is in progress around our planet, which could affect satellites in high-altitude orbits. Also, radiation from flare created waves of ionization in Earth's upper atmosphere, briefly disrupting communications at some VLF and HF radio frequencies. Space Weather 9th August 2011

    I am wondering about the news of a proton storm because they were not considered a major issue until Janaury 2005, when there was a severe blast and a proton storm went on for a whole day. Earth being bathed in protons day and night is not something that satellite controllers would be happy about at all and I am wondering why they have not been highlighted as a type of space weather unless there has been a recent change due to an increase in frequency. See old NASA news for more details.

    Sickening Solar Flares
    The biggest solar proton storm in 15 years erupted last week. NASA researchers discuss what it might have done to someone on the Moon.
    NASA Science News, January 27, 2005:
    "On January 20th, 2005, a giant sunspot named "NOAA 720" exploded. The blast sparked an X-class solar flare, the most powerful kind, and hurled a billion-ton cloud of electrified gas (a "coronal mass ejection") into space. Solar protons accelerated to nearly light speed by the explosion reached the Earth-Moon system minutes after the flare--the beginning of a days-long "proton storm."

    NASA - A New Kind of Solar Storm
    Going to the Moon? Be careful. A new kind of solar storm can take you by surprise.
    NASA Science News, June 10, 2005:
    "Scant minutes after the January 20th flare, a swarm of high-speed protons surrounded Earth and the Moon. Thirty minutes later, the most intense proton storm in decades was underway.

    "We've been hit by strong proton storms before, but [never so quickly]," says solar physicist Robert Lin of UC Berkeley. "Proton storms normally develop hours or even days after a flare."This one began in minutes."

    X6.9 solar flare took place – partialy Earth-directed!!!
    The Watchers, 9th August 2011
    The largest solar flare of Cycle 24 just took place at 08:05 UTC and it registered a whopping X6.9. The source was Sunspot 1263 which is nearing the Western Limb. Because of its location, any large explosions may not be fully earth directed. When watching new video images from the STEREO website, it appears the CME is less intense than the one caused by the M9.3 flare from last week. A minor S1 Radiation Storm is in progress. [...] A plasma cloud left the Sun at the moment of the event. It is now travelling through space at a speed of more then 1000 km/s. At a speed of 1000 km/s and no deceleration, a cloud bridges the distance between the Sun and the Earth in 1 day and 17 hours. The plasma cloud is not directed straight to Earth. But a glancing blow is possible and can cause a geomagnetic storm.

    An X flare, now the Sun is starting to get serious... The Watchers are watching and they are producing a good summary of events.

    Space Weather - A powerful solar event on Aug 09, 2011
    Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC), 9th August 2011
    "A powerful solar event occurred at 07:48 UT today, Aug 09 on the Sun. Email alerts are being sent."
    Remember NASA has informed the world that this is the start of a new era... space weather will dominate our reality... This is now a new world....

    The Classification of X-ray Solar Flares
    Space Weather Reference

    What is a solar flare?
    How it Works, February 2011
    "Solar flares are classified on a scale of A, B, C, M or X, with each classification being ten times stronger than the previous one. Within each letter classification there is also a one to nine scale; an A2 flare is twice as strong as an A1 flare, for example. This depends on their peak x-ray flux measurement as determined by the GOES (geostationary operational environmental satellite) system."
    Solar flares are measured using a power-law distribution scale similar as that used to measure earthquakes. See Wikipedia Solar Flares

    Orange gunk found near remote Alaska village identified
    'We'll likely never have a definitive answer' on why eggs suddenly appeared on shore, scientist says MSNBC News, 9th August 2011
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Scientists have identified an orange-colored gunk that appeared along the shore of a remote Alaska village as millions of microscopic eggs filled with fatty droplets.

    But the mystery is not quite solved. Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday they don't know for sure what species the eggs are, although they believe they are some kind of crustacean eggs or embryos. They also don't know if the eggs are toxic, and that worries many of the 374 residents of Kivalina, an Inupiat Eskimo community located at the tip of an 8-mile barrier reef on Alaska's northwest coast.

    The mystery deepens... microscopic eggs or microscopic cells? The scientists will probably want to hide the truth under scientific jargon, but we will have to see because we have the precedent of the red cells (some say with DNA) that rained down over a period of months in Kerala, India. Maybe it's worth speculating that there there might be a comet in orbit around Earth that is currently off-loading...

    Space Weather News - 8/9th August 2011, 8th August 2011

    WEEKEND AURORAS: A widespread display of auroras erupted late Friday, Aug. 5th, when a double-CME hit Earth's magnetic field and sparked a G4-category geomagnetic storm. Click on the image to view a time lapse video of the event recorded by Michael Ericsson on the shores of Tibbitt Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada:

    "Although not the most intense auroras I've ever seen, this one is definitely up there on my favorites list," he says.

    The show was not restricted to Canada. Northern Lights spilled across the border into the United States as far south as Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. (Note: The faint red lights photographed in Nebraska are typical of low-latitude auroras during major geomagnetic storms.) Observers in Europe as far south as England, Germany and Poland also witnessed a fine display. Browse the gallery for more examples.

    Comment: Daylight auroras! Basically a sign of high intensity as Earth's atmosphere was being flooded with energy from the solar wind.

    Tibbitt Lake, NWT.Canada (Video)
    Vimeo, 8th August 2011
    "A recent time lapse of aurora shot at Tibbitt Lake, NWT.Canada"
    Direct link to the video
    Solar Physics Group, Trinity College Dublin, August 2011

    NIGHT-TIME SOLAR RADIO BURST: The M9-class solar flare of August 4th produced a burst of shortwave static so powerful that receivers on Earth picked it up after sunset. "A RadioJove observer in Florida recorded the burst when the sun was 38 degrees below the horizon," reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft. Ashcraft's own radio telescope in New Mexico recorded the event 1 hour and 54 minutes after sunset: 5th August 2011

    NOAA space weather update, August 4 2011
    YouTube, 4th July 2011
    "NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center issues watch for geomagnetic storms; potential impacts to begin tonight, Aug 4. video by NOAA - directed and produced by NOAA's Katy Human and Will von Dauster."
    Dr. Doug Bisecker is a physicist at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. He mostly talks about latest solar eruptions, the arrival of the 3 CMEs and the impact on the world's technological infrastructure.

    NOAA Space Weather Prediction center update 2 pm MT Aug 5.
    YouTube, 5th July 2011
    "Aurora could be visible as low as Illinois to Oregon."
    Joseph Kunches, a space scientist at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center talks about the latest developments. The geomagnetic storm is expected to last 7-12 hours.

    Real time Kiruna Magnetometer reading
    Swedish Institute of Space Physics, 5th August 2011

    Webcams: Purple auroras in Germany!
    Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 5th August 2011

    NLC Camera Network of the IAP
    Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 5th August 2011

    ACE Satellite Data: CME Shockwaves detected - 5th August 2011

    Mystery of the orange substance invading from skies in one of the world's most remote spot
    Daily Mail, 7th August 2011
    A strange orange substance raining down from the skies has left villagers in one of the world's most remote areas mystified.

    The alien invader was found in rain buckets in Kivalina, an Eskimo community in Alaska, and floating in the harbour, creating 100ft-by-10ft swathes of what one resident described as ‘bright neon orange'.

    The news attracted all the townspeople, keen to get a glimpse of the phenomenon that covered much of the harbor and then began washing ashore on Wednesday. [...]

    Swan helped collect some samples for testing, and grabbed some of the substance in his gloved hand. 'It was really light, with a powdery look to it, and it was just floating on there, all bunched up together,' he said. 'It looked like it could blow away very easily.' Swan added that some of the material had an oil-like sheen to it.

    So, do we have a comet offloading strange substances into Earth's atmosphere? It won't be the first time nor the last. This reminds me of when astronauts found "strange goo" on the outside of the International Space Station during a spacewalk. I wrote about this incident in my book, Tuning the Diamonds because the astronauts found a large patch of dark oily substance and a white honeycombed substance, but since January 2005, when it was reported by CNN and other major media outlets, there has never been an official explanation offered to my knowledge. I was particularly interested in the white honeycombed substance that I thought might have been evidence of Ormus powder, but there is a possibility that substances are being manufactured in space that can be delivered to Earth by Space Weather. The Associated Press has more details Orange goo baffles remote Alaska villageand here is a picture of the strange goo on a river.

    Effects of solar flares arriving on Earth
    USA Today, 5th August 2011

    Operators of electrical grids are working to avoid outages, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says some satellite communications and Global Positioning Systems could face problems.

    Three solar flares erupted on the sun starting Tuesday, and the strongest electromagnetic shocks were being felt Friday by the ACE spacecraft, a satellite that measures radiation bursts a few minutes before they strike Earth, said Joseph Kunches, a scientist at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado.

    The planet is now getting slammed! More:

    CME IMPACT--NOW: NASA's ACE spacecraft, which measures the speed of the solar wind just upstream of Earth, indicates that a CME impact on our planet is in progress. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras in the hours ahead.

    UPDATE: Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab report a strong compression of Earth's magnetosphere in response to the CME impact. "Simulations indicate that the magnetopause separating magnetospheric and solar wind plasma is close to the geosynchronous orbit starting at about 19:20 UT on August 5th. Spacecraft [in these] orbits may be directly exposed to solar wind plasma and magnetic field." 5th August 2011

    Comment 2:
    There are twitter reports that parts of Toronto has lost power. For the latest tech info see,, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, Today's Space Weather, NICT Real time Magnetosphere Simulation. Dynamic modeling of the Earth's bow shock and magnetopause. The ENLIL Model Prediction with the 3 CMEs

    NIGHT-TIME SOLAR RADIO BURST: The M9-class solar flare of August 4th produced a burst of shortwave static so powerful that receivers on Earth picked it up after sunset. "A RadioJove observer in Florida recorded the burst when the sun was 38 degrees below the horizon," reports amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft. Ashcraft's own radio telescope in New Mexico recorded the event 1 hour and 54 minutes after sunset: 5th August 2011

    NOAA space weather update, August 4 2011
    YouTube, 4th July 2011
    "NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center issues watch for geomagnetic storms; potential impacts to begin tonight, Aug 4. video by NOAA - directed and produced by NOAA's Katy Human and Will von Dauster."
    Dr. Doug Bisecker is a physicist at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. He mostly talks about latest solar eruptions, the arrival of the 3 CMEs and the impact on the world's technological infrastructure.

    NOAA Space Weather Prediction center update 2 pm MT Aug 5.
    YouTube, 5th July 2011
    "Aurora could be visible as low as Illinois to Oregon."
    Joseph Kunches, a space scientist at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center talks about the latest developments. The geomagnetic storm is expected to last 7-12 hours.

    Real time Kiruna Magnetometer reading
    Swedish Institute of Space Physics, 5th August 2011

    Webcams: Purple auroras in Germany!
    Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 5th August 2011

    NLC Camera Network of the IAP
    Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, 5th August 2011

    ACE Satellite Data: CME Shockwaves detected - 5th August 2011

    Space Weather Update 4th August 2011, 4th August 2011

    TRIPLE CME ENROUTE "Likely to be a major event": This morning's M9-class eruption propelled a CME toward Earth. Moving at an estimated speed of 1950 km/s, the cloud is expected to sweep up two earlier CMEs already en route. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab say the combined triple-CME should reach Earth on August 5th at 13:55 UT plus or minus 7 hours. "The impact on Earth is likely to be major: the estimated maximum geomagnetic activity index level Kp is 7 (Kp ranges from 0 - 9). The flanks of the CME may also impact STEREO A, Mars and Mercury/MESSENGER."

    We have a Major Event! Please note: updates their webpage with the latest information but the above entry was picked up and placed on various websites by others interested in what's happening on the Sun. This is a tripple whammy NOT a double whammy! YouTube: STRONG CME LASCO C2 Aug 4th 2011 Please also note: STEREO A one of the handful of spaceweather satellites is also likely to be hit! The arrival time estimate of August 5th at 13:55 UT plus or minus 7 hours is not exactly accurate and reflects the fact that CME arrival times are extremely difficult to predict. Even if we use the ACE satellite at at Lagrange Point 1 (L1), 1 million miles from Earth, the fastest CMEs will only provide 15 minutes of warning and that is not really long enough to mitigate potential disaster.

    (In this NASA Enlil spaceweather prediction model, the Yellow dot is Earth and we are about to be smothered by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), billions of tons of plasma in a huge cloud that can be seen here in the shape of an arc. You can click the image here to access the animation.)

    STRONG SOLAR ACTIVITY: For the third day in a row, active sunspot 1261 has unleashed a significant M-class solar flare. The latest blast at 0357 UT on August 4th registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, almost crossing the threshold into X-territory (X-flares are the most powerful kind). The number of energetic protons around Earth has jumped nearly 100-fold as a result of this event.

    UPDATE: This morning's M9-class eruption propelled a CME toward Earth. Moving at an estimated speed of 1950 km/s, the cloud is expected to sweep up two earlier CMEs already en route. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab say the combined triple-CME should reach Earth on August 5th at 13:55 UT plus or minus 7 hours. "The impact on Earth is likely to be major: the estimated maximum geomagnetic activity index level Kp is 7 (Kp ranges from 0 - 9). The flanks of the CME may also impact STEREO A, Mars and Mercury/MESSENGER."

    INCOMING CLOUDS: At least two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are now en route to Earth, propelled toward us by eruptions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot 1261 on August 2nd and 3rd. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab have just produced a new 3-D model of the advancing CMEs. Click on the image to set the clouds in motion:

    According to the model, Earth's magnetic field will receive a double-strike from the clouds on August 4th at 22:39 UT plus minus 7 hours. Mild to moderate geomagnetic storms are possible when the CMEs arrive.

    Significant solar storm headed to Earth Friday
    Washington Post, 4th August 2011
    A "moderate to strong" solar storm is on its way to Earth Friday. An erupting sunspot has unleashed three solar flares in as many days, the third particularly potent. offers this detail: "The latest blast at 0357 UT on August 4th [11:57 p.m. EDT August 3] registered M9.3 on the Richter Scale of Flares, almost crossing the threshold into X-territory (X-flares are the most powerful kind)."

    Space Weather Update, 3rd August 2011

    (In this NASA Enlil spaceweather prediction model, the Yellow dot is Earth and we are about to be smothered by a coronal mass ejection (CME), billions of tons of plasma in a huge cloud that can be seen here in the shape of an arc. You can click the image here to access the animation.)

    M6-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: Sunspot 1261 unleashed another strong solar flare this morning--an M6-class flash at 1348 UT. Like yesterday's eruption from the same active region, this explosion propelled a CME in the general direction of Earth. ETA: August 5th. Stay tuned for additional analysis.

    UPDATE: A listening station above the Arctic Circle in Norway reports ionospheric waves and VHF radio noise associated with today's M6-flare: their data. 3rd August 2011

    INCOMING CLOUD: Yesterday's M1-class eruption from sunspot 1261 was observed by three spacecraft: SOHO, STEREO-A and STEREO-B. Using data from those three points of view, analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab have made a 3-dimensional model of the CME now en route to Earth. Click on the image to launch a computer-generated movie of the expanding cloud:

    EARTH-DIRECTED BLAST: Magnetic fields above sunspot 1261 erupted this morning at 0619 UT, producing a long-duration M1-class solar flare. At the peak of the action, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a surge of extreme ultraviolet radiation around the sunspot: 2nd August 2011

    Comment: The extreme UV radiation is the high-energy end of the ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Like other forms of light such as infrared and X-rays, EUV light is blocked by the Earth's atmosphere, or so we are told.

    How Does the Sky Get Hole Punched?
    Flights cause more rain and snow near airports
    Epoch Times, 12th July 2011
    When planes fly through certain mid-level clouds they can create unusual formations known as "hole-punch" clouds. New research published in Science reveals how these circular holes in the sky are linked with an increase in rain and snow occurring around major airports.

    The holes only form when aircraft pass through clouds that contain a layer of supercooled liquid at just the right temperature—about minus 15 degrees Celsius or lower for turboprop planes and minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius for jet aircraft.

    As a plane travels through the cloud it causes the air around it to expand and cool, which leads to the development of ice crystals. These crystals "seed" the clouds, causing the supercooled water droplets to start freezing and the hole to expand, before the crystals fall out of the cloud in the form of snow or rain.

    I have been searching for historical data on Fallstreak clouds or Hole Punch Clouds and there isn't any. There are websites now dedicated to this phenomenon but they don't seem to have any historical references. I usually refer to the work of William Corliss who is famed for interest in anomalous phenomena and so produced a comprehensive catalogue of books that I believe can be used as a good reference when determing rare phenomena. Corliss does not provide any information on Hole Punch or Fallstreak clouds (the catalog topics are online) and so despite the explanation of airplane exhausts causing these holes in clouds (see below), we have to ask why have they only appeared in the last 10 years or so? Even has provided the "official" explanation but at the same time did not appear to be convinced and with an opening statement, "The sky is full of mysteries..." certainly provides no confidence that our scientists really understand what is taking place. In my evening presentation at Delft Technical University, I provided an Electric Universe solution of beams of charged particles passing through the atmosphere and I related this to sink holes that look like they have been cut out with a laser and holes that appear to have been stamped on ice. Even if the explanation of airplane exhausts was basically correct then, we have to consider that the properties of clouds have changed or the properties of the airplane exhausts have changed in recent years to create this phenomena. However, we have to consider that many people live near airports but I have not seen one single report of someone capturing a hole being made (photo or video) during the take off or landing of an airplane, something that also requested people to report. See previous entries from for November 2006 & January 2011.

      HOLE PUNCH CLOUDS: The sky is full of mysteries, and one of them appeared over Wisconsin on Wednesday, Nov. 15th. "I live in Stevens Point on the University of Wisconsin campus, and I saw some very strange clouds," reports Samantha Weise who took several pictures: [...]

      These are "hole punch clouds," and no one is certain what they are. One theory holds that they are formed by jet airplanes punching through a cirrocumulous cloud deck. When the jet pierces the cloud, supercooled water droplets in the cloud suddenly crystallize. This water-to-ice transformation proceeds outward from the point of impact, creating a vast circle of icy wisps--the "hole." But how many jets would it take to create this display? A mystery, indeed.

      Readers, if you ever see a hole punch cloud in the act of opening, take pictures. You could help solve the puzzle of these beautiful 18th November 2006

      TRIPLE PUNCH HOLE CLOUDS: "I've lived by the sea for many years, but never seen anything like this," reports Wesley Tyler of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "On Friday, Jan. 7th, there were three punchhole clouds in the same place." He grabbed his camera and recorded the phenomenon:

      Considered a mystery for many years, punch hole clouds appear on rare occasions all over the world, sometimes attracting widespread attention, e.g., the famous Moscow UFO cloud of 2009. Recently meteorologists have penetrated the mystery: punch holes form when airplanes fly through thin layers of high altitude clouds. If water droplets in the cloud are supercooled (below freezing but still liquid), they can suddenly turn to snow when shocked by the passage of the plane. This mini-snowstorm occurs over a circular area much wider than the airplane itself.

      Not all flights through banks of clouds will produce snow. According to Wired Magazine, only about 7.8 percent of the Earth's surface is covered with clouds at the right elevation for supercooled droplets to form. Because jet aircraft don't generally cruise at those altitudes, they may only form hole-punch clouds when they take off or land.

      The apparition of three rare cloud-holes in one small area suggests a busy airspace around Myrtle Beach. Indeed, the Myrtle Beach International Airport is just miles from where the photo was taken. Or maybe punch hole clouds are a bit of a mystery after all. 10th January 2011

    Mysterious Noctilucent Clouds Brighten Up Night Skies (PHOTOS)
    Internationl Business Times, 11th July 2011
    The season for spotting Noctilucent Clouds or the "night-shining" clouds has begun, NASA said in a statement in early July.

    Noctilucent Clouds are composed of tiny ice crystals 40 to 100 nanometers wide, which is just the right size to scatter blue wavelengths of sunlight, a NASA scientist explained.

    According to NASA, the best time and location to search for these breathtakingly beautiful phenomenon would be between mid-May and the end of August in the northern hemisphere. However, with no explanation yet found, these glowing, mystical clouds have been seen even as far south as Utah and Oregon and Denver, Colorado in the recent years.

    Nice photos.... According to NASA they have only appeared in mid latitudes since 2002, and scientists do not know why, see previous Space Weather related comments.

    Smile! It's an upside-down rainbow... but you can see there's no pot of gold at the end of this one
    Daily Mail, 4th July 2011
    Seen just a handful of times this stunning phenomena is known as the 'smile in the sky.' Freak weather conditions created this reverse rainbow in Leicestershire where it was pictured by antique dealer William Freeman. But while the sight looks like an upside-down rainbow, it is actually caused by light shining through tiny ice crystals in the clouds. Rather than being caused by raindrops like normal rainbows, it is the result of freak atmospheric conditions, rarely seen outside the North and South Poles. This is one of only a handful of occasions where an arc has been spotted in the UK.

    More 'freak' conditions, but it can't be true that this has happened on only a handful of occasions in the UK because I have recorded two sightings in August 2010, a sighting in August 2009 and September 2008, see archives. What is noticeable, is that this is occurring at the same time as we are seeing noctilucent clouds, another mysterious atmospheric phenomena becoming common to Europe during June/July. From the facts provided by atmospheric scientists, they appear to be related but there are many other strange and rare atmospheric phenomena appearing and they all seem related to ice crystals. However, in some cases, scientists will admit that these are ice crystals with peculiar properties and I would suggest the ice has formed on highly charged cosmic dust that is now invading our planet due to our solar system being engulfed in an interstellar 'etheric' debris cloud.

    Stunning Noctilucent Clouds Shine Brightly in the UK
    Universe Today, 1st July 2011
    Mysterious "night shining" or Noctilucent Clouds are beautiful to behold, and here are some gorgeous examples what skywatchers in the UK have been experiencing. Stu Atkinson took this stunning panoramic view from Kendal Castle. (Click image for access to a larger version).

    NLCs are usually seen during the summertime, appearing at sunset. They are thin, wavy ice clouds that form at very high altitudes and reflect sunlight long after the Sun has dropped below the horizon. Scientists don't know exactly why they form, and they seem to be appearing more and more in recent times.

    I wonder how many people are wondering why these enigmatic clouds are appearing? From my own research I have decided they are related to cosmic dust entering our atmosphere. Others might argue that they are related to volcanic dust, because they were first discovered after Krakatoa exploded in 1883, but this still does not explain why these clouds that once were confined to the poles are now appearing in mid latitudes. What's more, as they are on the edge of space being back lit from the sun that is below the horizon, why they appear electric blue as if they are electrified. Interestingly, scientists do admit that these clouds are charged and they do return radar signals. According to an article at Discovery Channel News: "Noctilucent clouds, which form at the edge of space 62 to 68 miles above the planet, are about 10 million times brighter than ordinary clouds. They contain electrically charged ice." Despite the fact that scientists are mystified by these clouds, there is no doubt that they represent real change and this must be considered alongside many other recent documented changes to Earth's electromagnetic environment. See previous comments at Best of the Blog Space Weather.


    ELECTRIC BLUE STORKS: Electric-blue noctilucent clouds are rippling over Europe this week. In Poland, that means sky watchers should be alert for the silhouettes of storks: [...]

    Noctilucent clouds form at the very top of Earth's atmosphere, at the edge of space itself where meteoroids can seed the formation of tiny ice crystals. When summer sunlight strikes these crystals--voila!--the sky glows electric blue. High-latitude observers should look for these strange clouds just after sunset or before sunrise; observing tips may be found in the 2009 NLC gallery. 28th June 2011

    ELECTRIC BLUE SUNSETS: The 2011 season for noctilucent clouds is gaining steam. Reports of electric-blue sunsets are now coming in from all the countries of northern Europe, Russia, Alaska and Canada. "We had our first sighting of NLCs on June 28th," reports Alan Dyer. He took this picture from Gleichen in southern Alberta: 29th June 2011

    NIGHT-SHINING CLOUDS: If you live northern Europe, Canada or Alaska, keep an eye on the evening sky. You might see something like this: Adrian Maricic of Loch Leven, Scotland, took the picture on July 1st: "This is the 4th night in a row we've seen noctilucent clouds," he says. "It was a spectacular display--even better than the night before!" Spaceweather 2nd July 2011

    NLCs INVADE THE USA: Last night, a bank of rippling electric-blue noctilucent clouds spilled across the Canadian border into the lower United States. In doing so, the clouds made their farthest excursion of the year away from the Arctic, their usual environment. "These were the most brilliant NLCs I have ever witnessed!" reports Steven Rosenow, who sends this picture from Washington state: Spaceweather 2nd July 2011 (Updated)

    As I have stated before on this blog, if you change the charge on a particle (condensation nuclei) then the freezing point also changes. So, all this talk of climate change affecting the upper atmosphere to produce noctilucent clouds is pure speculation and not based on any proper scientific studies. The real question is: where are these charged particles coming from and what other effects are there?

    UFO, 'Star Gate' or just a ballistic missile? Mysterious bubble-like light burst seen over Hawaii (Video)
    Daily Mail, 30th June 2011
    Footage of this incredible bubble-like burst of light in the night sky was captured by cameras at an astronomical observatory in Hawaii. Sky watchers have been flooding internet forums with speculation about the burst, filmed by a webcam mounted on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea.

    Captured in time-lapse footage, the glowing sphere takes several minutes to expand until it virtually fills the frame - then it vanishes as mysteriously as it appeared. Theories as the cause of the mysterious luminous sphere have ranged from the opening of an inter-dimensional portal to the future to a battle between two alien starships.

    But the most likely explanation is that is shows a U.S. Minuteman III inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), ejecting fuel as it enters the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere. The time-lapse footage shows the night horizon filled with stars, when suddenly an ethereal arc pops into view.

    Wow, the video is quite amazing...You have just got to laugh... it used to be Russian satellites and rockets that were blamed for every strange meteoric sighting in the sky but now its ICBMs... It would be interesting if we could find an astronomer to provide us with a more believable explanation... Anyway, interestingly, there is a recent article at the website about plasma bubbles...

    Blowing Hot Air, 28th June 2011
    "Astronomers have found a star in a nearby galaxy that has "collimated jets of fast moving particles" and "a huge bubble of hot gas." One astronomer compares it to a soccer ball with jets that reach to the orbit of Pluto. The standard model of stars assumes that they are isolated balls of really hot air bound by gravity. The hot air is escaping from this newfound star, and it's expanding into a bubble. So far, so good.

    Unfortunately for the model, the hot air is refusing to expand until it gets hundreds of light-years away from the star. Then suddenly it expands into a bubble a thousand light-years wide that "contains a mixture of hot gas and ultra-fast particles at different temperatures."
    Hmmm.... I think it might be quite an interesting exercise to make some comparison here with what has been detected in our skies...

    Awesomely weird expanding halo of light seen from Hawaii
    Bas Astronomy, 29th June 2011
    There is plenty of hot air in the ideas discussed here...

    Here Comes the Sun: Coronal Mass Ejection Headed for Earth, 23rd June 2011
    On Tuesday, the Sun threw off a large amount of material directed towards Earth in an event known as a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME. When I state a large amount of material here, I mean large. According to a FAQ on the nature of a CME maintained by Montana State University, a typical CME contains between 1 and 10 billion tons of charged particles moving away from the Sun at speeds up to 1 million miles per hour. This recent event will reach Earth around Friday. [...]

    There now exists a good collection of spacecraft monitoring the Sun and the dynamics of the Sun-Earth system. I am not going to go into detail on all of the spacecraft here, as each on its own could warrant an entire article. Instead, I will provide a list here of just some of the satellites and links to project homepages.
    I don't report every CME that is directed away or even directly at Earth, but it's interesting that the mainstream media have started taking more of an interest, possibly due to all the recent emphasis on the Sun and Space Weather generally. The message here is out of date because issued a geomagnetic storm warning because of the simultaneous and I presume unexpected arrival of a fast solar wind stream. However, at about 23:00:00 UT, it looked like it was over, then at 24th June 2011 about 00:00:00 UT we were slammed again... See the NICT simulation of Earth's magnetic field. I have noticed they are deleting the worse looking images from the main list and I presume they don't won't people too frightened but I have been watching for a while now and I have not seen anything lately that compares to the height of solar cycle 23, where Earth had some seriously ferocious blasts... or the odd blasts that are coming from deep space... However, I am aware that there may be some assumptions because parameters might have changed over the years.

    STORM WARNING: A fast-moving stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field. The combined effect of this stream plus a CME expected to arrive soon (see below) has prompted NOAA forecasters to declare a 30% to 35% chance of geomagnetic storms on June 23-24. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

    Space Weather 21st June 2011, 21st June 2011
    INCOMING: Magnetic fields above sunspot complex 1236 erupted during the early hours of June 21st, producing a C7-class solar flare and a full-halo CME. The expanding cloud is heading almost directly toward Earth:

    UPDATE: According to analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab, the CME left the sun traveling 800 km/s and it will reach Earth on June 23rd at 23:22 UT (plus or minus 7 hours). A very cool 3D heliospheric model shows the cloud sweeping past our planet. The impact is expected to trigger a G2-class (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm.

    Wait a minute, the best estimate is plus or minus 7 hours? So what does that mean when governments decide to take down national power grids? Do they expect hospitals to have emergency backup systems that will last for 14 hours from when it might stike to when it could eventually hit? Nuclear power power plants do not even have backups that can last this length of time, as we now know because of Fukushima... I would be interested to know what procedures are being drafted and so should anyone else who is interested in the survival of our current modern technological world. Update: OK, I have been thinking that something would have to be automated and that the signal for shut down could only be applied when the ACE Satellite at L1 (or it's replacement) provides the specific advanced warning of approx. 15 - 45 minutes. See below for more comments on advanced warnings.

    Update 22nd June

    CME FORECAST, REVISED: A CME propelled toward Earth by the "solstice solar flare" of June 21st may be moving slower than originally thought. Analysts at the GSFC Space Weather Lab have downgraded the cloud's probable speed from 800 km/s to 650 km/s. Impact is now expected on June 24th at 0700 UT plus or minus 7 hours. In this animated forecast model, the yellow dot is Earth:

    A slower CME should deliver a weaker blow to Earth's magnetic field. Forecasters now predict a relatively mild G1-class (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm when the cloud arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras during the early hours of June 24. The season favors observers in the southern hemisphere where solstice skies are winter-dark.
    Space Weather 22nd June 2011

    Yes, from the CME forecast we are going to get a direct hit.... another cosmic blessing...

    Coronal Mass Ejection - 14th June 2011 (Video), 15th June 2011
    CORONAL MASS EJECTION: On June 14th around 0810 UT, a magnetic filament near the sun's eastern limb became unstable and erupted. The resulting blast hurled a bright and massive CME into space:

    The expanding cloud was observed by 3 spacecraft: STEREO-A, STEREO-B and SOHO. Researchers at the Goddard Space Flight Center's Space Weather Lab assembled data from the fleet to create a 3-dimensional model of the expanding cloud: movie. According to their analysis, the cloud blew away from the sun at a speed of 830 km/s and it could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on June 17th at 10:50 UT (plus minus 7 hours). The impact is not expected to provoke strong geomagnetic storming. Nevertheless, high-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives.

    There seems to have been two blasts here at about the same time, but the lower looks like what I will call a 'trumpet' CME. Very nice. So a day after NASA has caused confusion by the announcement of low sunspot counts and therefore low solar activity, we get a very nice CME that is partially Earth-directed. Hopefully the Earth's magnetosphere will be in a good enough shape to cope with anything that arrives.

    Current Solar Activity and Heliospheric Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) Conditions
    Berkeley Edu, 15th June 2011
    Info: The SOHO spacecraft, is stationed between Earth and the Sun, has an instrument called a Large-Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) and provides a wide view of the Sun's corona, it's outer atmosphere. The corona is millions of times fainter than the Sun's photosphere and is therefore only seen on Earth during an eclipse when the Moon blocks the photosphere's light. LASCO mimics an eclipse, simply using a disk to block light from the photosphere, allowing the corona to be observed.
    This is a movie of solar activity over the last 4/5 days.

    Rays from solar eruption will start hitting Earth today
    ABC News, 9th June 2011
    "PETER CAVE: Electronic equipment near the North and South Poles could be knocked out today after the biggest solar eruption in five years."

    Hotting up: Sun wakes up from sleep for busiest sunspot cycle in years and threatens to disrupt Earth communications and power
    Daily Mail, 8th June 2011
    * Geomagnetic storm activity expected from around 6pm and could last 24 hours
    * Possible disruption to power grids and satellites
    * Flights over polar regions face being rerouted

    This astonishing sequence of images shows a dramatic 'flare' bursting out from the sun which could affect satellite communications and power supplies here on Earth. The spectacular development unleashed a radiation firestorm on a level not seen for five years which is expected to cause a 'moderate' geomagnetic storm when it reaches Earth. Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the event which combines a flare, a coronal mass ejection (CME) and a minor radiation storm. [...]

    This is interesting and significant because it shows the sun is returning to its more typical active state.' The resulting geomagnetic storm could cause some disruption in power grids, satellites that operate global positioning systems and other devices, and may lead to some rerouting of flights over the polar regions, Murtagh said. 'Generally it is not going to cause any big problems, it will just have to be managed,' he said.

    Yes, it's only a M2.5 solar flare (see below) and a CME that is not even directed at Earth, but the problem we have is the weakness of Earth's magnetic shielding which is in tatters compared to how well the magnetosphere stood up against the onslaught at the height of Solar Cycle 23 where Earth was really blasted. What's more, NASA have already explained that we can expect a stronger impact on Earth due to the polarity of the solar wind and CMEs. We have been told the solar wind is leaking into the magnetosphere like gas and when a CME comes along, it acts like a match and the whole thing goes BOOM! This is only part of the reason why satellite controllers and the space community cannot be complacent about solar storms and why there is now so much drama surrounding space weather.


    OOPS! Yesterday's epic solar flare attracted an overwhelming number of visitors to Our server buckled under the strain. Today we upgraded our hardware to handle the load; bring on the flares! The webmaster apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the outage. --Tony Phillips

    STORM WARNING: NOAA forecasters estimate a greater than 25% chance of geomagnetic storms on June 9th. That's when a CME from the magnificent flare of June 7th is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. - 8th June 2011

    Well, we have a mystery as it seems before went down, some claim the flare was rated as an X20+. There are claims this was on the website for at least 1 hour, but I did not see it myself and can't believe that if this was true, why there was no mention in the main news because X20+ is MASSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knows, maybe the solar reporting system is faulty, as it seems the same thing happened in mid March. Anyway, see the saved webpage here

    What is a solar flare?
    How it Works, February 2011
    "Solar flares are classified on a scale of A, B, C, M or X, with each classification being ten times stronger than the previous one. Within each letter classification there is also a one to nine scale; an A2 flare is twice as strong as an A1 flare, for example. This depends on their peak x-ray flux measurement as determined by the GOES (geostationary operational environmental satellite) system."
    Solar flares are measured using a power-law distribution scale similar as that used to measure earthquakes. See Wikipedia Solar Flares

    Sun Unleashes 'Spectacular' & Powerful Eruption, 7th June 2011
    The sun unleashed a massive solar storm today (June 7) in a dazzling eruption that kicked up a vast cloud of magnetic plasma that appeared to rain back down over half of the sun's entire surface, NASA scientists say. The solar storm hit its peak at about 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), but the actual flare extended over a three-hour period, said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who runs a website called The Sun Today, in a video describing the event. "The sun produced a quite spectacular prominence eruption that had a solar flare and high-energy particles associated with it, but I've just never seen material released like this before," Young said. "It looks like somebody just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and then it fell back down." [Video: See the sun's June 7 solar flare and eruption]

    The solar flare is quite amazing, I don't think I have ever seen a solar flare that has fallen back down onto the sun like mud, but strange new behaviour of the sun should be expected as the sun is now processing a different type of energy, (this is contrary to old ideas of how the sun works). Apparently, there was also a massive coronal mass ejection (CME), described in the NOAA solar report (see as a "full halo asymmetric CME" but it was facing in the wrong direction to give planet Earth the full treatment. Hence there are two separate events to check out. Here are some more links:

    "M-FLARE AND RADIATION STORM: This morning around 0641 UT, magnetic fields above sunspot complex 1226-1227 became unstable and erupted. The blast produced an M2-class solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm, and a massive CME. A recording of the blast from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory ranks as one of the most beautiful and dramatic movies of the SDO era:"

    "HAIR-RAISING SOLAR ACTIVITY: Over the past few days, amateur astronomers have recorded some of the most photogenic solar activity in years. Onlookers describe huge prominences of magnetized plasma rising above the stellar surface as "Unbelievable!"--"Hydrogen at its best"--"Massive and incredible!" This shot was simply hair-raising:" - 7th June 2011

    Space Weather & Midnight Eclipse, 2nd June 2011

    CO-ORBITAL ASTEROID FLYBY: Small asteroid 2009 BD is flying through the Earth-moon system today about 215,000 miles from Earth. The 10m wide space rock poses no threat to our planet, but it is of acute scientific interest.

    ECLIPSE OF THE MIDNIGHT SUN: A solar eclipse at midnight? It's not only possible, it actually happened last night. On June 1st, the new Moon passed in front of the midnight sun above the Arctic circle, producing a partial eclipse of exquisite beauty.

    SOUTH POLE AURORAS: Earth is exiting a solar wind stream that sparked colorful auroras on May 28th-30th.

    Comment: Lots of relevant news. I was waiting to see if the eclipse of the midnight sun actually happened because predicted events don't always happen these days. Yet, looking through the selection of photographs, I started to seriously think something was not right until I came across the photo by from Joerg Schoppmeyer of Akureyri, Iceland; who shows us that it was indeed bright sunlight at midnight in Akureyri, Iceland and the only way to see the eclipse was to apply a filter. The asteroid fly-bys are coming in thick and fast as planet Earth has been in an interstellar debris cloud for many years now. The solar wind speed has been high but I have not seen any reports of Earth's magnetic field looking particularly bizarre because that is a normal occurence these days. Checking out the latest NICT real time simulations of the earth's magnetic field, I did think the following was 'different' link, it

    Increase in Solar-Earth hits 15 May prelude to tornadoes & extreme weather events and Major Earthquake Risk 17-21 May, 15th May 2011
    On May 15th as Earth entered a fast solar wind stream*, geomagnetic activity reached K=4 level**, solar wind speed reached a very high 569 km/sec and there was a significant increase in proton flux***
    Piers Corbyn, astrophysicist of said:
    "This increased activity is a prelude to our long range forecasted Extra Top Red warning for:
    - Weather events 17-20 May including tornadoes in USA; and
    - Increased MAJOR Earthquake risk 17-21 May. The Earthquakes may be anywhere in the world but the Pacific Rim including West coast USA is vulnerable.

    OK, the solar wind speed has been high too...


    COMET AND CME: A comet dove into the sun on May 11th and seemed to trigger a massive eruption--emphasis on seemed. Watch the movie, then scroll down for further discussion.

    A comet goes in; a CME comes out. Coincidence? Probably, yes, the sequence was coincidental. The comet disintegrated as much as a million kilometers above the stellar surface. There's no known way that the wispy, vaporous remains of a relatively lightweight comet could cause a billion-ton cloud of hot plasma to fly away from the sun at 400 km/s (the observed speed of the CME). Moreover, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the eruption that did propel the CME into space. There's no comet in the field of view of this must-see movie.

    Bonus: The bright comet pictured above had a dim companion. Can you find it?

    Comment: Totally predictable, want folk to believe this is just a coincidence.... There are many examples of this happening, but electric comets acting like sparkplugs to ignite the sun reveals too much about the true nature of our electromagnetic universe and embarrasses NASA and astronomers who refuse to accept that their fundamental beliefs about the universe are wrong.

    AURORA WATCH: A coronal mass ejection launched from the sun's eastern limb on May 9th could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field today. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of geomagnetic activity if and when the CME arrives.


    SUNDIVING COMET: A comet just discovered by amateur astronomer Sergey Shurpakov is diving past the sun today, and it will probably not survive. Click here to view a movie of the death plunge recorded by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory--and check back for updates in the hours ahead.

    Comment: Well this comet hit the sun and caused a spectacular CME, that will delight the Electric Universe theorists and cause chagrin amongst NASA et al. who want people to think that comets are harmless fluffy snowballs/lumps of rock and ice. I don't know whether will be too interested in showing us this spectacle (the gif provided here conveniently stops before the CME explosion) so I have listed some links.

    SOHO Movie Theater - Lasco 2
    Soho Movie Theater,11th May 2011
    Important: image type=LASCO C2

    Comet CRASHES into SUN causes Solar Flare - 11th May 2011
    YouTube, 11th May 2011
    Captured from SOHO on May 11th 2011

    Sungrazing Comets Info
    U.S. Navy, May 2011

    Asteroid Flyby 5th May 2011, 5th May 011

    ASTEROID FLYBY: Asteroid 2003 YT1 is flying past the Earth-Mooon system today at a safe distance of 25 million km. Albeit far away, the 2.5 km-wide space rock is big enough to see through backyard-class telescopes. At the University of Narino Observatory in Columbia, Alberto Quijano Vodniza and colleagues used a 14-inch Meade LX200 to record this movie:

    Hmmm... 2.5km wide... that's a big rock...

    The mystery of the Moon's eerie green glow
    io9 News, 28th April 2011
    [...] Why is the moon flashing green? Technically, it's not. The flash is a trick of the light, made possible by earth's atmosphere. Light often encounters substances that it can move through, like glass or water, but as it does, it's bent slightly. This slight bending is more pronounced the denser the material it is moving through. It is also more pronounced the shorter the wavelength of light. Prisms are extreme examples of this, separating white light into many different colors, widely space, over a short distance. Although it's more subtle, our atmosphere does the same.

    This is an ultra rare atmospheric effect that is virtually unknown. It seems the green flashes on the sun can be easily obtained in certain conditions, but green flashes on the moon are exceptional. As the ESO reports:
    When the conditions are just right, with an additional mirage effect due to the temperature gradient in the atmosphere, the elusive green flash is briefly visible at the upper edge of the solar or lunar disc when it is close to the horizon.
    I really don't think there is much argument that something fundamental is changing in our atmosphere, what is amazing is that not more people are commenting on the cause being an interstellar cloud of dusty plasma... just look at how red that moon is when sometimes it is gleaming bright white... What are folks waiting for... the sun to be blotted out for three days? Mayan Elders are looking more and more credible as we can now compare their predictions with what is now taking place, as their retention of ancient knowledge has proven to be quite reliable. More at, google green + flashes.

    • Emerald Sunsets, 20th September 2006

      EMERALD SUNSET: "Tonight I saw one of the most beautiful and long lasting green flashes I've ever seen," says Mila Zinkova of San Francisco, who took this picture on Sept 17th:

      The green flash, a brilliant glint of emerald almost on the ocean horizon just as the sun disappears, relies on a mirage to magnify small differences in refraction between red and green light. This particular sunset "was a very complex mock mirage," says Zinkova. "It seemed that the sun could not get enough of playing with [thermal air layers over the Pacific Ocean] and produced a different shape every moment."

      Green flashes, once thought to be a myth, are certainly real. If you live on a western coast, look for them at sunset.

    Incoming space weather, 9th April 2011

    INCOMING CME? Newly-arriving data from NASA's STEREO probes suggest that a coronal mass ejection (CME) might be heading toward Earth. The source of the cloud appears to be sunspot complex 1185-1186, which experienced an episode of magnetic instability during the early hours of April 9th. Stay tuned for updates to this preliminary analysis. CME movies: STEREO-A, STEREO-B.

    GRAND FILAMENT: A magnificent filament of magnetism is curling around the sun's southeastern quadrant today. Measuring more than 700,000 km from end to end, the vast structure is about twice as long as the separation between Earth and the Moon. Arrows trace the filament's meandering path in this extreme UV image from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory:

    It's not easy for such a filament to remain suspended indefinitely above the stellar surface, and indeed a collapse is possible. Filaments falling onto the sun can trigger explosions called "Hyder flares." Is one in the offing?

    Comment: Will the magnetosphere (Earth's magnetic shielding) cope with this next solar bombardment? NASA et al. must be worried, so we will have to see what happens, but we have no arrival date yet... I was actually more interested in the Hyder flare as the recent appearance of these huge filaments might be telling us there has been a definite change in the cosmic environment of the sun. Scientists have known for over 30 years that our solar system was moving into a different region of space with completely different properties. This region was called the 'Galactic Cloud' or 'G Cloud', because it was coming from the direction of the galactic center. NASA have now called this local interstellar cloud "Local Fluff," and there has been much study in the last few decades into the properties of dusty plasmas because authorities have been very nervous about how this cloud would effect life on Earth. From the metaphysical perspective, we are actually experiencing the arrival of an etheric cloud that will effect EVERYTHING in the solar system, but the evolutionary changes have been subtle so far...

    Big CMEs and strong auroras, 4th April 2011

    BRIGHT CME: NASA twin STEREO spacecraft observed a spectacular coronal mass ejection launched from the vicinity of decaying sunspot 1176 on April 3rd around 0500 UT. The blast was not Earth directed. Nevertheless, there is a chance that the expanding cloud will deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on or about April 6th. CME movies: STEREO-A, STEREO-B.

    DEEP SKY AURORAS: This weekend, April 2-3, Northern Lights spilled across the Canadian border into the United States with sightings as far south as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. To the naked eye, the auroras were mostly pale-white, but exposures of 10 or more seconds with off-the-shelf digital cameras revealed spectacular color. Brian Larmay sends this picture from Pembine, WI:

    Comment: does not report all the space weather but automatic alerts were indicating mid latitude auroras about 3/4 days ago and that normally only happens with the worse of space weather. Since there had not been any spectacular solar flares or coronal mass ejections, I presume this means that the magnetosphere and atmospheric shielding over certain regions is badly failing. Hence these last few massive blasts must be worrying a few...

    2° CME event APRIL 04, 2011.wmv
    YouTube, 4th April 2011

    Sometimes auroras just happen. Last night in Norway, a spectacular band of Northern Lights arced across the sky unprovoked by any obvious gusts of solar wind. Fredrik Broms sends this picture from Kvaløya:

    "These very beautiful and gentle auroras painted the sky and snowy landscape in green," says Broms. "With the auroras forming a band from east to west and the Milky Way stretching over the sky in the same direction now during spring, I beheld a double band of celestial wonders. Later in the night, pulsating auroras appeared over most of the sky, most prominent right above my head."

    The density of the solar wind blowing past Earth is slowly increasing today. This could provide some genuine provocation for even better displays tonight. Arctic sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

    I am not convinced by the unscientific argument that auroras "just happen" and I presume cosmic energy was pouring in through the cracks in the magnetosphere ... There was a blast from the sun in the form of a magnetic filament which erupted on March 28th, but the 'debris' was expected to miss Earth. Since NICT is only just back on duty I have been looking at other parameters and the cosmic ray neutron monitor indicates a decline in cosmic rays since the 25th and therefore solar activity was high and so interfering with cosmic rays arriving on Earth. Sure enough, NOAA's Space Weather Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity reveals there have been flares and CMEs that were mostly directed away from Earth, but as we know, CME's can be bounced back by magnetic field lines, so these days, we have to watch and see what actually happens.

    As you will note above, the magnetosphere has failed yet again and we have another example of cosmic energy streaming into Earth past our normal cosmic defences. The magnetosphere was being hit hard and pushed inwards by a high density (CME?) and the proof is the magnetopause standoff hit geosynchronous orbit, so will there any failed satellites? I don't know. Oh well, maybe we should rename this new era The Age of Cosmic and Manmade Radiation and maybe a few more will understand the significance of this major transition and the need to make some serious changes to the way we do business on the planet and prompto as this is becoming urgent.
    • Incredible video of Aurora Borealis -
      Boing Boing, 23rd March 2011
      "Norwegian landscape photographer Terje Sorgjerd spent one week around Kirkenes and the Norway-Russia border, in -25 Celsius temperature, to make this magnificent time-lapse video of the Aurora Borealis."

    • NICT: The Aurora Live
      NICT, March 2011

    Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation
    NICT, 13th March 2011

    This is the magnetosphere failing again. There is a high speed solar wind (550-600km/s) and daylight side of the inner magnetosphere looks to have filled up with particles for about 4 hours between 11.30 UT to 15:30 UT. It cleared up and now it looks like it has leaked again from about 19:18 UT onwards. The last shot I have viewed was 22:18 UT. I have tracked down an example in 2005 where this has been seen on a NICT Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation movie, so this leakiness maybe become more of an issue as the planetary bombardment accelerates. See below:

    YouTube - Magnetosphere Simulation from 09-09-2005 thru 09-12-2005
    YouTube, May 31, 2010
    On Sept. 7th, 2005, a huge sunspot (789) rounded the sun's eastern limb. As soon as it appeared, it exploded, producing one of the brightest x-ray solar flares of the Space Age (X-17). In the days that followed, the growing spot exploded eight more times. Each powerful "X-flare" caused shortwave radio blackouts on Earth and pumped new energy into a radiation storm (S-2) around our planet. The blasts hurled magnetic clouds toward Earth, and when they hit, on Sept 10th and 11th, ruby-red auroras were seen as far south as Arizona.

    "Solar Flares and CMEs keep me up at night..."
    For the most part, you have nothing to worry about from C, M, or X Class Flares. My personal comfort level is not pushed by a single event until we're head-long and IMF tilted south with a X-12.

    I would like to say that this is rather strange attitude because the Earth's magnetic field now has some serious holes (when it actually exists) and from what I can see, the atmosphere is now leaking like a sieve. Therefore the direct measurement of x-ray flashes on the sun, no longer completely equate to being able to predict X-ray flashes being received here on Earth.

    Students burned, mysterious cause
    KATC News, 11th February 2011
    Around two-dozen high school students come home, in the middle of winter with what looks like... Get this--- a sunburn. Now, parents and teachers want to know how this happened. It's a mystery in the community of Hathaway and it has people burning to know the answers. "We don't know what caused it," parent, Donald Demary said. "We just kept trying to find answers,"

    YouTube, Feb 13, 2011

    Fast Coronal Mass Ejection, 8th March

    FAST CORONAL MASS EJECTION: A coronal mass ejection (CME) exploded from the vicinity of sunspot 1164 during the late hours of March 7th. It leapt away from the sun traveling ~2200 km/s, making it the fastest CME since Sept. 2005. A movie of the cloud prepared by Karl Battams of the Naval Research Lab shows a possibly substantial Earth-directed component. This CME and at least one other could brush against Earth's magnetic field on March 9th or 10th.

    Comment: There has been a lot of M class flares for quite a few days now. I have collected info on the Fast CME from the 7th and another on the 8th March.

    Fast CME 7th March 2011
    Sungrating Comets, 7th March 2011

    ENLIL Solar Wind Prediction Model that provides a 1-4 day prediction of a solar storm arrival on Earth. here, 8th March 2011
    Unfortunately this .gif file is loads quite quickly so it might be easier to screen print to study any details. Earth is the yellow spot. The major CME version might disappear quickly too.

    Solar Update - The M-Class flare party continued on Tuesday with multiple events taking place, primarily around Sunspot 1165 which is rotating onto the western limb and will soon be out of direct earth view. Any strong solar flares around this region will not have much impact on earth at this point. Several CME's have taken place within the last 48 hours, and one of these is earth directed and could stir up Geomagnetic Storming at high latitudes. Click here to watch a Lasco C2 movie of the Coronal Mass Ejections (8th March).

    From the SWPC: Further analysis with ENLIL and other models now suggests the CME from nearly 24 hours ago, clocking a speed of more than 2000 km/s as it left the Sun, may not arrive until midday Wednesday March 9. Intricacies relating to the density of the ambient solar wind ahead -- and the subsequent deceleration of the ejecta -- are expected to lengthen its travel time. When it does arrive, look for G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic activity to follow.

    There will remain the chance for M-Class flares around Sunspot 1164 which is located towards the northwest limb and also around huge Sunspot Cluster 1166. - 9th March 2011

    Update 10th March

    CME IMPACT: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on March 10th around 0630 UT. Solar wind conditions, post-impact, are favorable for geomagnetic activity. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

    impact images: from Joseph Shaw of Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska; from William Helms of Fairbanks, Alaska. 10th March

    Solar flare warning for S Africa: ‘People must wear high sunscreen factor at the moment'
    Investment Watchblog, 8th March 2011
    The Hermanus Space Weather Warning Centre (SWWC) on Sunday said a large solar flare was currently being experienced in South Africa. The solar flare would result in higher radiation levels from the sun.

    SWWC's forecaster Kobus Olckers said people should be careful when they go outside. "People must wear high sunscreen factor at the moment or preferably go shopping," he said.

    A powerful solar flare could overwhelm high-voltage transformers with electrical currents and short-circuit energy grids, with one such event in 1989 disrupting power across the Canadian province of Quebec. However, solar flares are nothing new, with the first major solar flare being recorded by British astronomer Richard Carrington in 1859.

    Please see the graphic below for the explanation for the warning. I have never seen this "Absorption Factor" in the ionosphere so high. I am assuming that I missed capturing the peak of this event too. The recommendation for people to go shopping is well, just typical. The image icon is current. The Sun is flaring. This image was taken by the SOHO satellite 6th March 13:06, click for the original source image. Presumably we are experiencing a breach with the magnetosphere too, as it looks like a breach in the records for the 7th & 8th March and the IMF has turned south which also indicates it woud create a large breach.

    "Conditions in the D-Region of the Ionosphere have a dramatic effect on High Frequency (HF) communications and Low Frequency (LF) navigation systems like Loran. The global D-Region Absorption Product depicts the D-region at high latitudes where it is driven by particles as well as low latitudes, where photons cause the prompt changes. This product merges all latitudes using appropriate displays, and is useful to customers such as commercial aviation and maritime users."

    Here's some info about the D-absorption chart:

    The current D-region absorption product only addresses HF absorption due to solar X-ray flares, which affect only low and middle latitudes on the sunlit side of Earth, in spite of the fact that the entire globe is graphically depicted. Solar X-ray flares ionize the D-region, dramatically increasing local electron density, and hence the total electromagnetic (EM) absorption. Due to geometric effects, D-region ionization is greatest at the sub-solar point, where the sun is directly overhead. The amount of ionization and absorption falls with distance away from the sub-solar point, reaching zero at the day/night terminator. The night side of the Earth is unaffected and the polar regions are minimally affected.

    The aviation industry relies primarily on HF for communications in remote areas, which include large portions of polar routes. The current D-RAP product can mislead users into believing that HF communication over the poles is unaffected by space weather. Solar radiation storms that sometimes follow large solar eruptions can result in significant and extended degradation of HF communications at high latitudes. D-RAP2 will identify HF degradation at all latitudes.

    Source pdf file: [D Region Absorption Prediction, Release 2 (DRAP2), September 2009

    More info on how breaches can occur.
    Southward Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) orientations enable solar wind energy to enter the Earth's magnetopshere, while northward IMF orientations allow solar wind plasma to enter the magnetosphere. Eruptions on the sun, known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), cause geomagnetic storms on Earth. The sun has an eleven-year activity cycle, at the end of which its magnetic field change its polarity, or direction. The next cycle is due to bring mostly north-south CMEs, which will cause plasma to enter into the northern hemisphere of Earth's magnetosphere, fueling the storm and energizing the southern hemisphere, creating larger geomagnetic storms than in the current solar cycle.

    THEMIS Observations

    The THEMIS spacecraft detected a thick layer of solar particles inside of Earth's magnetosphere. This solar particle layer is 1RE thick, or approximately 4,000 miles, and is growing rapidly. This solar particle layer is much thicker when the sun's and Earth's magnetic fields are aligned than when they are not aligned. øieroset et al. reports that twenty times more particles enter the magnetosphere when the fields are aligned.

    "Southward Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) orientations enable solar wind energy to enter the Earth's magnetopshere, while northward IMF orientations allow solar wind plasma to enter the magnetosphere. Eruptions on the sun, known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), cause geomagnetic storms on Earth. The sun has an eleven-year activity cycle, at the end of which its magnetic field change its polarity, or direction. The next cycle is due to bring mostly north-south CMEs, which will cause plasma to enter into the northern hemisphere of Earth's magnetosphere, fueling the storm and energizing the southern hemisphere, creating larger geomagnetic storms than in the current solar cycle."

    Breach in Earth's Magnetosphere Discovered,
    Its interesting to discover details and definitions here that were not available in the original press releases back in December 2008.

    China's 'Two Suns' Video Unexplained By Science, 4th March 2011
    Weeks after a story shot across the Web claiming that the imminent explosion of a nearby star would result in the appearance of a second sun in the sky – a story that was later debunked – two suns were caught on camera yesterday in China. The suns – one fuzzy and orange, the other a crisp yellow orb – appeared side-by-side, one slightly higher than the other.

    What's going on? Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to, asked Jim Kaler, the University of Illinois astronomer who squelched the excitement over the aforementioned exploding Betelgeuse and who has written books on the day and night sky. The double sun image is an effect of optical refraction, Kaler said, but it's a "pretty darn rare" one, and one not fully explained by science.

    "I doubt it's been computer modeled," he said. "There must have been some blob of atmosphere somewhere that caused this truly spectacular phenomenon, which in a sense is a mirage."

    Mirages appear when particles in the atmosphere refract, or bend, light. This typically happens near the horizon, where air is thicker, though, and mirages are usually aligned vertically above or below the original source of the light – not beside it, like in the video. It's possible, Kaler said, that an unusually thick patch of atmosphere wandered in front of the sun to create the unusual effect.

    Previous sightings of horizontally-aligned double images of the sun and moon are recorded in a book called "Light and Color in the Outdoors" (English edition: Springer 1993) by the famous Flemish astronomer Marcel Minnaert, which remains the most complete reference on double suns. "So many other instances have been reported that there is no longer any doubt about … observations of sun and mock sun(s) being at exactly the same altitude," Minnaert wrote.

    In terms of an optical explanation, he said, "You would have to assume it is particles of ice or something in the atmosphere aligned in such a way that they would refract the sunlight at that very small angle, but only in one direction. It would require some fairly peculiar characteristics."

    More 'rare' atmospheric affects? I agree it's a mirage, but again, why are we seeing so many rare types? At least, we have some experts here telling us they are not really sure, but suggest that maybe a thick patch of atmosphere appeared in front of the sun. Unfortunately, there are no details like: where exactly did this thick patch occur? Again we have the suggestion of the very peculiar "ice crystals", which is fast becoming the catch-all possible explanation, but really, this is just pure speculation. Here is a YouTube version of the Chinese TV news broadcast about this strange apparition YouTube - UPDATE: ( TWO SUNS ) MORE NEWS DIRECTLY FROM CHINA ( MARCH 1 2011 ) in February 2011 we have, Two suns in Bangkok and this nice example from back in August 2010, Two Suns setting in the sky. Devon [UK]. There are many more examples of "two suns" on YouTube, but as I have noted before, the phenomena of "three suns" has been recorded in our historical past too, see archives.

    Mysterious Sun Haloes - Lahti, South Finland, 17th February 2011

    MYSTERIOUS SUN HALOES: Most sun haloes are circles. They surround the sun when sunbeams hit ice crystals in the air. The haloes this week in Finland, however, were not circular. Olli Leivo sends this picture from Lahti in southern Finland: More images: #1, #2, #3, #4

    "Finland has had a spate of elliptical halos over the last few days produced by ice crystals precipitating out of low clouds. The ones Leivo photographed are superb," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Elliptical halos are rare and we do not understand how they are formed. A popular theory is that hexagonal plate-shaped crystals with very blunt pyramidal ends make them. But ray tracing simulations using these crystals do not reproduce the halo's fine detail properly. Moreover, these crystals are physically unrealistic because crystal faces follow lines of atoms in the crystal lattice – blunt pyramidal ends do not! The mystery remains."

    Comment: More mystery in the atmosphere... the result is an optical illusion that makes the sun look like a diamond... Atmospheric scientists state that to recreate this optical effect, "rather unusual crystals" are required. So, we can only assume that "rather unusal" cosmic dust is arriving and forming ice crystals that are making it all the way down into our atmosphere due to geomagnetic storm activity and creating a selection of often beautiful atmospheric effects that we cannot fail to notice.

    Solar flare radiation expected to hit starting today
    The largest solar flare in four years erupted Monday. Its radiation is expected to reach Earth today and Friday and perhaps interfere with communication systems, power grids and navigation satellites. It might also enhance the northern lights.
    LA Times, 17th February 2011
    Radiation from the largest solar flare in four years is expected to reach the Earth Thursday and Friday, potentially interfering with communication and navigation satellites and disrupting ground-based communication networks and power grids.

    The rain of charged particles from the so-called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, should also enhance the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, making them both more prominent and visible farther south, perhaps even into the northern tier of the United States, experts said.

    Yes, there have been lots of mixed messages and the reports that Earth missed a bullet, but the solar 'gun' is still firing and Earth's cosmic shielding did fail again. See below:

    Giant solar flare may light aurora
    Damage to satellites possible, but power outages unlikely: scientist
    CBC News, 17th February 2011

    Solar storm delivers auroral show
    CBC News, 18th February 2011
    "The lights were the result of a geomagnetic storm caused by three solar flares that blasted toward Earth from the sun between Feb. 13 and Feb. 15, including what NASA called the largest solar flare in four years. The three apparently merged before their arrival, reported the Space Weather Prediction Center run by the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration."

    From, we read:

    Another M6.6 Flare - Another strong M6.6 Solar Flare took place at 09:55 UTC Friday. SolarSoft data centers it around the new Sunspot 1161/1162 area, however C-Class and M-Class flares are bubbling up at a quick rate around both that area and Sunspot 1158. The M6.6 also triggered an R2 Radio Blackout.

    Possible Secondary CME Impact - A secondary CME shock appears to have swept past the ACE spacecraft just after 10:30 UTC Friday. The solar wind spiked to near 700 km/s. Minor Geomagnetic Storm conditions are possible at high latitudes. Be on the lookout for Aurora if you are in northern regions and dark outside.

    Possible Secondary CME Impact - A secondary CME shock appears to have swept past the ACE spacecraft just after 10:30 UTC Friday. The solar wind spiked to near 700 km/s. Minor Geomagnetic Storm conditions are possible at high latitudes. Be on the lookout for Aurora if you are in northern regions and dark outside.

    From my conservative estimates, the daylight side of the inner magnetosphere filled up with particles for at least 13 hours between 02/18/2011 01:15:46 UT
    & 02/18/2011 12:26:44 UT.

    Class X flare - CME Impact - February 18th 2011 Magnetosphere Activity
    YouTube, 18th February 2011
    "Class X flare - CME Impact - February 18th 2011 from National Institute of Information and Communications Technology."

    CME SPARKS AURORAS: One and possibly two CMEs hit Earth during the early hours of Feb. 18th, creating a gusty solar wind environment around our planet and fueling a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm. During the storm-peak, auroras were visible over Canada despite interference from the full moon:

    "The auroras were very colorful," reports photographer Sylvain Serre from Salluit, an Inuit village in Nunavik, Canada. "It was worth going out in the cold weather (-30 C) to see the show."

    Although the storm has subsided, it could flare up again as the solar wind continues to swirl around Earth. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. Source:

    3 CME's headed our way – geomagnetic storminess set for earth
    WUWT, 16th February 2011

    From the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, word that our recent X-class (and lesser magnitude) solar flares have released three Coronal Mass Ejections (CME's) toward Earth:

    The calm before the storm. Three CMEs are enroute, all a part of the Radio Blackout events on February 13, 14, and 15 (UTC). The last of the three seems to be the fastest and may catch both of the forerunners about mid to late day tomorrow, February 17. Watch this space for updates on the impending — G2, possibly periods of G3 — geomagnetic storming.

    From Today's Space Weather :

    Comment: It seems that the magnetosphere took a while to return back to normal as some of the images seem to indicate a large belt of radiation had formed inside the daylight side of the inner magnetosphere. See, NICT Magnetosphere 02/16/2011 00:08:23 UT, NICT Magnetosphere 02/16/2011 04:10:55 UT & NICT Magnetosphere 02/16/2011 05:08:38 UT. Here is the NICT Magnetosphere compilation movie for 13th - 15th January 2011 , where we can clearly see some blasts and the daylight side inner magnetosphere fill up with radiation.

    Solar flare affects shortwave radio communications in southern China
    Xinhuanet News, 16th February 2011
    BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- A large solar flare accompanied by electromagnetic storms affected shortwave radio communications in southern China on Tuesday, according to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA). The CMA's space weather monitoring center reported that it had spotted the X2.2-class solar flare at 9:56 a.m. Tuesday Beijing Time. Xue Bingsen, a researcher with the center, said the solar flare caused sudden ionospheric disturbances in the atmosphere above China and affected shortwave radio communications, according to a CMA statement.

    What electromagnetic storms: substorms? We have had far worse solar flares than this, but maybe Earth's magnetic field is in far worse condition that we are being told, see the January 2010 announcement from the European Space Agency, Multiple rifts in Earth's magnetic shield. The NICT image of the magnetosphere pasted below, should also be considered too. Scientists have also stated that Earth is dropping her shields, but I think the Magnetar blasts from deep space are in fact cosmic communication telling Earth that it's time for some cosmic housekeeping. So, maybe we can conclude from this report that is there is now tremendous turbulence in the ionosphere and our radio communication systems just cannot function in the new highly unstable ionospheric conditions that occur when solar flares and geomagnetic conditions are taking place. For more information visit the Joyfire Tour, here is the link to Extreme Space Weather

    Solar Flare Suspends Parts of Radio Communications in Korea
    Arirang News, 15th February 2011
    "The Sun emitted a strong flare on Tuesday at around 10:50 a.m. Korea time disrupting some radio communications here in Korea. According to the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, a powerful solar flare from "Sunspot 1-1-5-8" interfered with radio waves in shortwave receivers. The institute predicts a massive burst of solar wind and radiation to hit the Earth's magnetic field some time between Wednesday and Thursday which could cause further damage to electrical systems and black out additional radio communications here."

    Computer Glitch Grounds United's 757 Fleet
    Fox News, 15th February 2011
    "United Airlines said it is in the process of temporarily grounding its 96 Boeing 757 jetliners Tuesday and into Wednesday so it can perform checks on earlier modifications it did to the air-data computers on those planes."
    I have been reluctant to list this and maybe it's just a coincidence.... otherwise, one would have to imagine that United Airlines were too frightened to have their fleet of Boeing 757 jetliners in the air whilst we were experiencing the worse geomagnetic storms in 4 years and radio communications have been failing all around the planet....

    ESPN Radio downed by glitch, but no format change coming [US]
    Reporter News, 16th February 2011

    System glitch delays 64 flights [Malaysia]
    Malaysia Star, 19th February 2011
    "KUALA LUMPUR: Sixty-four flights were delayed due to a three-hour partial system failure of the Air Traffic Management System that controls all departures and arrivals of aircraft at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha said the partial system failure, which occurred at 8.30am yesterday, was caused by a problem with the common database in the system. This resulted in air traffic controllers having to input the flight data of aircraft departing from KLIA manually instead of it being done automatically, he said."

    Sun Erupts With Most Powerful Solar Flare in 4 Years, 15th February 2011
    The sun unleashed its strongest solar flare in four years last night (Feb. 14), hurling a massive wave of charged particles from electrified gas into space and toward Earth.

    The solar storm sent a flash of radiation that hit Earth in a matter of minutes. Now a huge cloud of charged particles is headed our way. These coronal mass ejections, as they are called, typically take around 24 hours or more to arrive. They can spark spectacular displays of the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, at high latitudes and sometimes even into the northern United States.

    The mega flare, which registered as a Class X2.2 flare on the scale of solar flares, was the first class X flare to occur in the new solar cycle of activity, which began last year. The sun is now ramping up toward a solar maximum around 2013.

    "It has been the largest flare since Dec 6, 2006, so a long time coming," said Phil Chamberlin, deputy project scientistfor NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which observed the flare. "There were some clues that led us to believe the likelihood of moderate to large flares (M class or above) could occur, but we were all surprised when it actually happened to be a large X-class."

    This article appears to contradict itself by stating CMEs take only 24 hours to arrive, but this only applies to rare super fast arrivals and then at the end quotes and states they usually take 36 to 48 hours which is the average time. People are excited but an X2.2 is nowhere near the X20+ or even the real extreme X40 that hit us in November 2003. Actually, this Halloween 'Hell' solar flare was initially calculated to be an X28 but later some scientists stated because the GOES satellite was blinded for 11 minutes and X40 would be a more conservative estimate, see Latest Sun Flare Put at X28, Strongest on Record. Anyway, we await the arrival of the related full halo CME but the magnetopshere has already been looking quite stressed from the previous solar flares and CMEs that have already hit in the last few days.

    Real time Magnetosphere Simulation
    NICT, 15th February 2011

    I have never seen this before, it looks like the magnetosphere (Earth's magnetic shield on the daylight side) completely failed and filled the near Earth space environment with radioactive particles for at least 7 hours between 02/15/2011 00:08:11 UT - 02/15/2011 07:07:58 UT but this is just my opinion and the event could have been much longer. This will explain the R3 radio blackout. The magnetic field lines have reversed, but that is now a common occurence and usually reverts back to normal when the solar storm passes. Please note: it looks like a NICT image is missing before this time and so either the ACE satellite recording equipment failed or the image was too terrible to leave up for people to see. Btw, these images only last for 24 hours and then they are removed from public viewing and then only the NICT movies as a compliation of all the images can then be downloaded. Click image for full size.

    TEXAS SUNDOG:, 11th February 2011

    "This very bright sundog appeared on the morning of Feb 9th--very rare in our part of the world," says photographer David Blackburn.

    Sundogs are formed by ice crystals in the air. Hexagonal plate-shaped crystals flutter down from the sky like leaves falling from trees. Aerodynamic forces align their flat sides parallel to the ground, and when sunlight hits a patch of well-aligned crystals at the right distance from the sun, voila!--a sundog. Look for sundogs around sunrise and sunset when the low-hanging sun is well positioned to shine through the fluttering ice. Yes, even in Texas.

    Comment: Superbright yes, but rare? No! The notion of 'flutter' is baseless and I suggest these ice crystals are being pushed by electric forces nearer to the surface of Earth.

    SDO Sundog Mystery
    NASA News, 11th February 2011
    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), best known for cutting-edge images of the sun, has made a discovery right here on Earth.

    "It's a new form of ice halo," says atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley of England. "We saw it for the first time at the launch of SDO--and it is teaching us new things about how shock waves interact with clouds."

    Ice halos are rings and arcs of light that appear in the sky when sunlight shines through ice crystals in the air. A familiar example is the sundog—a rainbow-colored splash often seen to the left or right of the morning sun. Sundogs are formed by plate-shaped ice crystals drifting down from the sky like leaves fluttering from trees.* Last year, SDO destroyed a sundog—and that's how the new halo was discovered.

    Very strange, at the time, I saw video of the 'ripple in the sky' but I did not see any references to a strange pillar of light... Click image icon for larger APOD image.

    Sonic Boom Meets Sun Dog
    YouTube, 14 February 2010
    "Solar Dynamics Observatory Launch, Feb 11, 2010 HD VERSION A sun dog is a prismatic bright spot in the sky caused by sun shining through ice crystals. The Atlas V rocket exceeded the speed of sound in this layer of ice crystals, making the shock wave visible from the ground. The announcer can be heard in the video saying, "The vehicle is now supersonic."

    Real time Magnetosphere Simulation
    NICT, 4th February 2011

    I have never seen anything like it, but it looks like some kind of standing wave (3 dimensional concave bullseye seen side on) developed after the dayside magnetosheath was slammed by the fast solar wind, presumably associated with a large coronal hole. The NICT images with this 'ringing' are from 19:14 UT until about 20:13 UT, but before and after the magnetosheath appears more normal and under a high pressure bombardment commensurate with a geomagnetic storm. If there is any comment from a space scientist, I will post the details.

    V-TOPPED LIGHT PILLARS:, 27th January 2011
    Light pillars are a common sight around cities in winter. Urban lights bounce off ice crystals in the air, producing tall luminous columns sometimes mistaken for auroras. But the light pillars Mike Hollingshead saw last night near a corn mill in Nebraska were decidely uncommon. "They had V-shaped tops," he explains, "and some of the Vs were nested." Here is what he saw:

    "These light pillars are not just rare, they are exceptional!" declares atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Ordinary pillars are produced by plate-shaped ice crystals roughly half way between you and the light source. These ones are different. Their rarely seen flared tops show that they were made by column-shaped crystals drifting slowly downwards and aligned horizontal by air resistance."

    "The flares are a form of the upper tangent arcs that we sometimes see in daytime halo displays," he continues. "But even more exotic, some flares have a second one nested within them! Some ice crystal columns do not rotate but instead keep two of their prism faces improbably horizontal to give us the very uncommon Parry arcs of solar halo displays. The nested flares here are amazing and probably the light halo equivalent of Parry arcs."

    Comment: So, if these Trumpet Pillars are ultra rare, why are they being reported so often? See previous comment, from about two weeks ago! By the way, the magnetosphere appears to have virtually disappeared... 01/27/2011 03:14:27 UT - 01/27/2011 19:29:34 UT

    The curious phenomenon of the new Northern Lights: Optical illusion caused by ice crystals in the Yorkshire night sky
    Daily Mail, 29th January 2011

    Strange beams of light over Ottawa area due to ice crystals in air
    Ottawa Citizen, 12th January 2011
    OTTAWA — If you saw funny lights in the sky before dawn Tuesday, you were looking at light from the ground filtered through millions of tiny airborne ice crystals.

    People across Ottawa and up into Gatineau Park reported seeing beams of light shooting straight up from the ground about 6 a.m., and some said the effect was like hundreds of searchlights.

    Geoff Coulson, a meteorologist from Environment Canada, says there was nothing unusual about the lights. The unusual part was the atmosphere. The phenomenon is known as a trumpet pillar, because it often shows up as a tall column that widens at the top, like the mouth of a trumpet. It happens most often in clear, cold air, because that's when ice crystals form and hang in the air, close to the ground.

    I am intrigued with the response of the "expert" who explained this light phenomena is known as 'trumpet pillar'. This can be linked to the 2nd January 2009 Mystery Pillars story at, when the atmospheric scientists consulted were baffled and called them mysterious, for more images see, Truhin's Pillars. For my most recent explanation given to explain this atmospheric light phenomenon, see the comments associated with the article dated 22nd December 2010, Strange phenomenon decorate Oslo Heaven

    TRIPLE PUNCH HOLE CLOUDS:, 9th January 2011
    "I've lived by the sea for many years, but never seen anything like this," reports Wesley Tyler of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. "On Friday, Jan. 7th, there were three punch hole clouds in the same place." He grabbed his camera and recorded the phenomenon:

    Considered a mystery for many years, punch hole clouds appear on rare occasions all over the world, sometimes attracting widespread attention, e.g., the famous Moscow UFO cloud of 2009. Recently meteorologists have penetrated the mystery: punch holes form when airplanes fly through thin layers of high altitude clouds. If water droplets in the cloud are supercooled (below freezing but still liquid), they can suddenly turn to snow when shocked by the passage of the plane. This mini-snowstorm occurs over a circular area much wider than the airplane itself.

    Not all flights through banks of clouds will produce snow. According to Wired Magazine, only about 7.8 percent of the Earth's surface is covered with clouds at the right elevation for supercooled droplets to form. Because jet aircraft don't generally cruise at those altitudes, they may only form hole-punch clouds when they take off or land.

    The apparition of three rare cloud-holes in one small area suggests a busy airspace around Myrtle Beach. Indeed, the Myrtle Beach International Airport is just miles from where the photo was taken. Or maybe punch hole clouds are a bit of a mystery after all.

    It's rather strange that would provide the standard explantion for these punch hole clouds and then imply that maybe this is not correct and it's still a mystery. Maybe they are partially correct, but the shock is not being provided by a plane, rather there is a burst of cosmic energy that is causing this atmosphereic phenomena. What's more, this is no longer a rare event and this atmospheric phenomenon is becoming more frequent. As I wrote in my book and stated on this website many times, it was predicted that there would be a dramatic increase in evolutionary energies arriving on this planet and there is now plenty of scientific evidence that can be cited. As I have stated: Space Weather is now a fact of life and the atmosphere is looking more and more like a sieve...

    White Hot Magnetosphere but no Predictions of Solar Activity
    NICT, 28th December 2010
    # Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA,
    # Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.

    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
    SDF Number 361 Issued at 2200Z on 27 Dec 2010

    IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 26/2100Z to 27/2100Z: Solar activity was very low. New Region 1138 (N13W12) was numbered during the period as a Dao bi-polar group and produced several B-class events. Regions 1136 (S22W84) and 1137 (N18E00) were spotless.

    IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be very low for the next three days (28 - 30 December) with a slight chance of C-class activity from the Region 1138.

    IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 26/2100Z to 27/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was quiet.

    IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet for the next three days (28 - 30 December). III. Event Probabilities 28 Dec-30 Dec

    Forecast - Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity Issued: 2010 Dec 27 2200 UTC

    28.12.10 17:55 UTC. The Earth's magnetic field is currently getting a severe beating but it is clear this is not related to solar activity and we are getting some big blasts from deep space. There are no records of a gamma ray burst on the GRB Real-time Sky Map, there is nothing recorded at the Swift GRB blog either, but NOAA's live Kp index indicates storm-level geomagnetic activity around earth that is depicted as a giant spike. As we see above, the Space Weather forecast was quiet and there has been no solar flare that would have generated a blast of high speed particles and solar radiation. Nevertheless, our cosmic shield is white hot and looking like it has been severely punished.

    More Info:

    GEO-STORM WATCH: A geomagnetic storm is brewing. The sun's magnetic field near Earth tipped south during the early hours of Dec. 28th, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind pouring in could spark bright Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

    Comment: Yes, the magnetic field turned south but that does not explain where the energy is coming from to spark the sudden geomagnetic storm.

    Update! GEOMAGNETIC STORM: High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. During the early hours of Dec. 28th, the sun's magnetic field near Earth tipped south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured and sparked a G1-class (Kp=5) geomagnetic storm. Observers are reporting ground currents and intensifying Northern Lights in Scandinavia.

    Comment: This is important, I have never seen a warning about ground currents (GICS) before on the website. That is a potential problem for national power grids in the far Northern hemisphere, countries like Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada etc. Hmmm.... Earth's shields were down and then there was a cosmic blast... this is no joke...

    29th December Update! SUBSIDING STORM: The geomagnetic storm of Dec. 28th is subsiding. The G1-class disturbance began when the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) tipped south, opening a crack in Earth's magnetosphere and allowing solar wind to enter. Cameras onboard US Dept. of Defense meteorological satellites recorded bright bands of aurora borealis circling the polar regions north of Scandinavia:

    Paul McCrone processed the data at the US Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, CA. "These images use both nighttime visual and infrared data from the DMSP satellites F17 and F18," he says. DMSP satellites are outfitted with low-light cameras capable of recording clouds, lightning, city lights and auroras after nightfall. Note in the image, above, how the brightest bands of aurora borealis rival the urban lights of some northern European cities. "It was a dramatic display," observes McCrone.

    more images: from Chad Blakley of Abisko National Park, Sweden; from Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway; from Severin Sadjina of Vigra, Møre og Romsdal, Norway; from Bjarki Mikkelsen of Porjus, Sweden; from Helge Mortensen of Kvaløya, Norway; from Timo Newton-Syms of Ruka, Finland; from Rob Stammes of Laukvik Lofoten Norway,

    Strange phenomenon decorate Oslo Heaven, 22nd December 2010
    Google Translate: Very early Wednesday morning showed some colorful light pillars in the sky over downtown Oslo. Per Christian Thoresen discovered them and took pictures out the window from the apartment in Arup Gate. It looks like the northern lights. It only lasted for ten minutes so the pillars were gone. They stood quite still, he says to NRK. It may be possible to see this in the next few days, "says John Smit. No, the aurora is not. There are some nice "pillars," says værentusiast and television meteorologist John Smit to He also spotted the great phenomenon when he went to work this morning, at the bottom of Differences by Alnabru.

    These are not the best quality pictures, but maybe more will appear. Here is the conventional explanation, for Light Pillars but I just don't believe this is the full answer. Here, we are being told that ice crystals that are normally extremely high up in the atmosphere that have found their way down to virtually ground level and light reflections are causing an optical illusion. Well, this is an explanation that I have missed! Since there is some anecdotal evidence that light pillars have been seen as a precedent to auroras. I would suggest that maybe some kind of atmospheric event has brought these ice crystals (frozen cosmic dust) down to the ground level. As I have stated before, maybe this is not just any old icy cosmic dust, as we known hundreds of billions of extraterrestrial dust particles fall though our skies, from sources within our own solar system. Maybe, we are seeing the same ice crystals and therefore frozen cosmic dust that create the enigmatic noctilucent clouds. Since these pillars of light are rare, and supposedly need the right atmospheric conditions, I would suggest that the only thing that does make this phenomena appear, is the quality of the energy that has brought these ice crystals down to ground level and explains why some of these light pillars have completely stumped atmospheric experts. See archives for 'mystery pillars' and 'luminous beams'.

    Triple Eruption on the Sun:, 13th December 2010
    Copy: Solar activity surged on Sunday, Dec. 12th, when the sun erupted three times in quick succession, hurling a trio of bright coronal mass ejections (CMEs) into space. Coronagraphs onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory recorded the action:

    A preliminary analysis suggests that none of the CMEs will be geoeffective. The expanding clouds should miss our planet.

    Are these CMEs related? According to images from NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft and the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the clouds emerged from three distinct blast sites separated by great distances. In each case, a magnetic filament erupted--one near the sun's southeastern limb (CME#1), one near the north pole (CME#2), and one on the far side of the sun (CME#3). Because all three eruptions occurred within a matter of hours, the coronagraph images suggest a single 3-lobed cloud; in fact, they are distinct CMEs.

    Some people have got excited by this triple eruption on the Sun, but to get this into some kind of perspective, we have to examine what has happened when the sun was truly active. During the 2003 Halloween storms, there were 140 solar flares, where each flare is equivalent to over a billion times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb in the form of high energy particles, X-rays and gamma rays. There were also 73 Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), were billions of tons of plasma per eruption are flung into Space and some of this flooded Earth. Apparently, the Mars Odyssey radiation monitor was burnt out by the Halloween storms, as NASA had completely miscalculated just how much radiation it was possible to receive at Mars as well as other major satellite casualties. Please note: what is not being discussed is what exactly has happened to all this energy that Earth has been receiving in recent years. It seems that nobody even wants to even think about The Law of Conservation of Energy. Anyway, here is a collection of SOHO satellite animations that I have called Spectacular Eruptions from the Sun, to show the Sun can belt out much bigger CMEs and solar activity is still rather low in comparison. [22.02.2011 This entry has been updated as research papers have indicated that the information in the online media confused CME and solar flare activity.]

    Bad Space Weather & more coming our way!, 30th November 2010

    LONG-DELAY RADIO ECHOES: During the geomagnetic storm of Nov. 27th, a brief but intense G2-class event, amateur radio operator Peter Brogl of Fürth, Germany, experienced a strange phenomenon. Forty-six seconds after he transmitted his call sign at 7 MHz, he received an echo of his own transmission. "At first, I thought someone was playing tricks on me," says Brogl, "but I changed frequency, re-keyed my call sign (DK6NP), and got another echo." This went on for more than an hour, enough time for Brogl to make several recordings. First reported in 1927 by Norwegian civil engineer Jørgen Hals, long-delay radio echoes are rare and poorly understood. Unusual propagation conditions linked to solar storms is one of many possible explanations. Radio operators, if you experienced any similar phenomena on Nov. 27th between 1800 UT and 19:30 UT, please report your observations to Peter Brogl for correlation.

    SUNSPOT CANOPY: Two days ago, sunspot 1130 didn't exist. Now the fast-growing sunspot group is the largest visible feature on the sun's disk with twin cores both larger than Earth. The amazing thing, however, is the invisible part. Using extreme ultraviolet filters outside the range of human vision, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory took this picture of the sunspot's magnetic canopy on Nov. 30th:

    In the image, curvaceous lines of magnetism are illuminated by hot solar plasma trapped inside the canopy. If the magnetic field becomes unstable and explodes, as sunspot magnetic fields often do, a cloud of plasma could come flying toward Earth. This active region merits watching for the next few days until the sun's rotation turns it away from our planet. Stay tuned.

    RETURN OF JUPITER'S MISSING STRIPE: The revival of Jupiter's South Equatorial Belt (SEB), missing for nearly a year, is now well underway. The roiling, turbulent disturbance that heralds the brown stripe's full return stretches almost halfway around the giant planet. "Here is a projection map showing the revival on Nov. 29th," says amateur astronomer Wayne Jaeschke of West Chester, Pennsylvania. Note the region bracketed by arrows:

    "I made the map by combining two pictures of Jupiter I took using my 14-inch Celestron telescope," says Jaeschke. "The disturbance has grown dramatically since it first appeared in late October." Indeed, it is now so large that even novice observers are starting to notice it in the eyepieces of backyard telescopes.

    The spreading disturbance is not the SEB itself. Instead, it is thought to be a progressive clearing of high clouds that will eventually reveal the brown stripe hiding below. When the SEB finally returns, Jupiter will have two brown stripes again and the planet's appearance will return to normal. Meanwhile, amateur astronomers are encouraged to monitor the revival. Point your optics south after sunset: sky map.

    With Spaceweather, even if the experts tell us that flares and CMEs are not particularly strong, it does not always equate to the final impact on Earth's technological systems, because scientists are still trying to understand how it all works. What's more the impact on humans is only mentioned by a few metaphysical sources and my advice is to be circumspect. I have been ignoring the Jupiter stripes story, but the APOD picture is striking, see link Dark Belt Reappearing on Jupiter . More:

    A magnetic filament in the sun's northeastern quadrant erupted during the late hours of Nov. 30th. Click on the image to play a movie recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory--and pay attention to the bright splash below the movie arrow: The blast produced a B-class solar flare and hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. Preliminary coronagraph images from NASA's twin STEREO spacecraft suggest that the cloud might be heading toward Earth. Further analysis is required, however, to confirm that the CME is coming our way. Stay tuned for updates.
    Well, we have to hope all our power grids will be OK, as it's a bit cold for NO electricity, as a power outage would effect gas supply too!

    AURORA WATCH:, 17th November 2010
    A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, sparking geomagnetic activity around the Arctic Circle. "I was driving through the countryside near Tromsø, Norway, on Nov. 14th when bright auroras burst through the clouds," reports Ole Christian Salomonsen. He quickly pulled over to take this picture:

    "The lights were amazing--green, white, purple, moving fast and strong," says Salomonsen. "I call the shot 'Colorful Clouds.'"

    The colour purple caught my eye... Apparently it is a signature of a very intense aurora. The purple is a mixture of blue and red emissions from nitrogen molecules. This was issued from the Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force.
    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity SDF Number 318 Issued at 2200Z on 14 Nov 2010 IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 13/2100Z to 14/2100Z: Solar activity was low. Region 1123 (S22W37) produced a C1/Sf flare at 14/0001Z. Region 1124 (N14W17) has grown in spot count as well as area while producing several B-class x-ray events. IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be low with C-class flares likely for the next three days (15-17 November). IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 13/2100Z to 14/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was mostly quiet with isolated periods of unsettled conditions at mid and high latitudes. The greater than 2 MeV electron flux at geosynchronous orbit reached high levels during the period. source: here
    Again, the above Space Weather report is not particularly informative so I downloaded the NICT movie for the 14th November and of course Earth's magnetosphere was taking a severe beating from a high speed solar wind around midnight was about 650km/s but there looked to be a few specific blasts and maybe this was from radiation storms associated with the solar flares.

    White Hot Magnetosphere but no Predictions of Solar Activity
    NICT, 20th September 2010
    Prepared jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center and the U.S. Air Force. Updated 2010 Sep 19 2201 UTC

    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity SDF Number 262 Issued at 2200Z on 19 Sep 2010

    IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 18/2100Z to 19/2100Z: Solar activity was very low with only B-class activity observed. Region 1106 (S20W34) and Region 1108 (S30E36) exhibited little change during the period.

    IB. Solar Activity Forecast: Solar activity is expected to be predominately very low. A chance of C-class activity, with a slight chance of M-class activity, is possible for the next three days (20 - 22 September).

    IIA. Geophysical Activity Summary 18/2100Z to 19/2100Z: The geomagnetic field was quiet.

    IIB. Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet for day one (20 September). Quiet to unsettled levels, with isolated active periods, are expected on day two (21 September). Mostly unsettled, with isolated active to minor storm levels, are expected on day three (22 September). The increase in activity is due to a large, recurrent coronal hole high speed stream. (Source: NOAA Solar Report)

    We have a white hot magnetosphere which means that it has been hit by a blast from space but solar activity is quiet and no storms had been predicted. I have seen this many times before, but I don't usually screenshot the images of 'before' and 'after' a blast.

    Here is the NICT Real Time Magnetosphere details, Magnetosphere 20th September 2010 19:48:13: UT and the associated NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center Space Weather Now 20th September 2010 20:09 UTC synopsis. Also, GOES SATELLITE X-RAY FLUX 20th September 2010 21:40 UT

    So, what we have here is some retrospective musing from NOAA! We read:
    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity SDF Number 263 Issued at 2200Z on 20 Sep 2010

    IA. Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 19/2100Z to 20/2100Z: Solar activity was low. A C2 X-ray event was observed at 20/1945Z. The event appeared to originate from an emerging flux region on the east limb near N20. Region 1106 (S21W53) decayed in the trailer portion of the spot group, but maintained a bi-polar magnetic configuration. Region 1108 (S30E24) exhibited little change during the period.
    Source: 3-day Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
    NOAA are saying the magnetosphere was hit by a solar "event" but I have downloaded the C2 & C3 LASCO video for the relevant time period and I can't see anything that remotely would classfiy as an X-ray event. I am wandering what exactly happened and I am wondering whether we will get any more information about this solar 'event', as this was not apparently, a solar flare, or a CME.

    EQUINOX AURORAS, 15th September 2010
    Last night, the sun's magnetic field near Earth tipped south. This opened a crack in Earth's magnetosphere. Solar wind poured in and fueled a magnificent display of arctic Northern Lights:

    Thilo Bubek took the picture not far from Tromsø, Norway. "We had some nice auroras," he says, with what can only be described as Norwegian understatement. "The clouds and calm sea contributed to a photogenic scene."

    This is the time of year when south-pointing magnetic fields from the sun frequently puncture our bubble of protection against the solar wind. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for equinox auroras.

    Comment: Magnificent! To be honest, the concept of a crack in the magnetosphere may be a misnomer because when this occurs it seems like the shield protecting our planet has in a effect become so weak as to be virtually non-existent. I saved this image from 9/14/2010 21:49:05 UT because I can't remember seeing anything like it. This might explain why scientists are stepping up the research into "Magnetic Reconnection," but does that mean they are trying to find a way to stop these cracks appearing? The latest NICT data Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation.

    Gamma-ray Burst Real-time Sky Map
    grb.sonoma-edu, 7th September 2010
    Technical details at the GR Blog: link

    Internet chatter! Five Gamma Ray Bursts in 6 days! GRB 100901A seems to be causing the most excitement so I am waiting to see if there is a media release from astronomers.

    Stormy Space Weather - 9/10th November 2004
    YouTube, 28th August 2010

    Comment: For those who are new to Space Weather and have never seen a real-time simulation of Earth's magnetosphere that acts as our protection against the cosmic elements, the stormy conditions seen here are probably not the worse that we have already encountered and metaphysical sources are adamant we are still only approaching the level that will become the standard new cosmic environmental of Earth. Please note: Earth is the dot inside the black disc on the graphics. Since we have had some stormy weather last week, the magnetosphere is still looking a bit worn out...

    To check out the current situation, see Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation. For more background info, vist the Joyfire Tour Extreme Space Weather .

    Circumzenithal arc spotted in North Tyneside
    BBC News, 27th August 2010
    It may look like an upside down rainbow, but a circumzenithal arc has been spotted in North Tyneside. Rainbows occur by light refracting off raindrops falling in the sky, but the circumzenithal arc is created by refraction of light from ice crystals. These crystals are part of cirrus clouds which lie between nine and 10 miles high in the sky. Unlike normal rainbows, only a quarter of the multi-coloured arc is formed as opposed to a full circle of a rainbow. The circumzenithal arc, or Bravais' arc as it is also known, was spotted in Gosforth on Wednesday 25 August.

    Two upside down rainbows reported in 6 days over the UK? See previous comments about cosmic dust entering Earth's atmosphere!

    BLUE SKY AURORAS:, 26th August 2010
    Normally, darkness is required to see the auroras borealis. This week, however, Arctic sky watchers have witnessed Northern Lights dancing on a stage of vivid twilight blue:

    Kjetil Skogli sends the picture from Tromsø, Norway, 300 miles inside the Arctic circle. "The auroras were so bright," says Skogli. "It was great to see them again after a long summer of midnight suns." With autumn approaching, the night sky is darkening enough for bright auroras to punch through the glare. "I'm looking forward to more," he says.

    More are in the offing. NOAA forecasters estimate a 50% chance of geomagnetic activity during the next 24 hours as a high-speed solar wind stream continues to buffet Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

    Comment: So what's going on now? Auroras are supposed to be rare in the summer months, never mind being able to see them during the day!!!! Well, in 1871, a Nature article called Aurora by daylight stated:
    "I SEE that more than one of your correspondents in December numbers dispute the possibility of an aurora being seen by daylight. It doubtless is a rare occurrence, but two cases of the kind have come under my notice." Source: link
    Many sources still claim that you need darkness to see the auroras, but as I wrote in my essay, The Greatest Transition in the History of Mankind, the cosmic conditions in our solar system are changing drastically and some point in the future, the science and metaphysics indicate that we could see the reoccurrence of a permanent auroral plasma column that will be visible all over the world. More visible auroras:

    SPLASHES OF GREEN, 28th August 2010
    "For the third day in a row, a high-speed solar wiind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, energizing bright auroras around the Arctic Circle. "There was quite a heavy outburst last night (Aug. 27)," reports Bernt Olsen from Kvaløya, Norway. "Even though the arctic nights still are bright, we could still see splashes of green in the sky."

    Sun storm to hit with 'force of 100m bombs', 25th August 2010
    AFTER 10 years of comparative slumber, the sun is waking up - and it's got astronomers on full alert. This week several US media outlets reported that NASA was warning the massive flare that caused spectacular light shows on Earth earlier this month was just a precursor to a massive solar storm building that had the potential to wipe out the entire planet's power grid. NASA has since rebutted those reports, saying it could come "100 years away or just 100 days", but an Australian astronomer says the space community is betting on the sooner scenario rather than the latter.

    This is not a particularly good article but people are reacting to the hype. Those who think NASA are being alarmist so they can secure more funding just don't have a clue. Rarely do these kind of articles explain that the citizens of Earth risk losing their solar system shielding, never mind the fact that Earth's magnetic field periodically simply vanishes on the daylight side, whilst we are being bombarded by galactic energies. Those of us who are watching the Earth's magnetosphere and then comparing it's condition to solar forcecasts and realtime data of solar and geomagnetic activity, realise that Earth is at times under a severe bombardment. So far, solar forecasters have got solar cycle 24 completely wrong so talk of the peak of the solar cycle in 2012 with activity that is off the charts, now seems extremely unlikely. However, there may be other cosmic events coming our way that NASA have been careful to underplay. Yes, we could get a bolt of cosmic lightning, but I don't think it will come directly from the Sun, but of course, the Sun will be effected and the impact on Earth would be severe as NASA are prepared to admit.

    The Magnetosphere has been under pressure (No link)
    Joyfire News, 25th August 2010

    More 'stings' from the Galactic Centre?

    Well the magnetosphere has been taking a hammering in the last few days, but we have not had any sunspots, sending solar flares or coronal mass ejections coming our way. The impact from the large coronal hole and an increase in the solar wind speed was expected to take effect on the 25th August (see, some sources say 24th-26th, so I assume this means that on the 21st - 23rd, it was galactic energy slamming into the magnetosphere.

    On the 23rd, the density spike was off the charts, see Youtube Magnetosphere Movie 23rd August 2010. The NICT movies (Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation) that can be downloaded are each about 20MB.

    Anyway, we may have an answer in the outburst of XTE J1701-407 that has been termed a thermonuclear X-ray burster from a neutron star. It has not yet been classified as a Magnetar, even though it was first discovered in June 2008, and has been having regular episodes of bursting. The current outburst was first stated as lasting 100 secs, and was initially picked up and classified as a GRB, see alert link.

    A later incident report at Astronomer's Telegram states: "On 2010-08-22 00:56:19 the INTEGRAL Burst Alert System (IBAS) triggered on an event ((GCN 11132, Gotz & Ferrigno, 2009) from the known burst source XTE J1701-407." Here, it stated it lasted 3 minutes which is long time for an outburst from this type of object, see link. So, I await more expert opinion on what the Universe is blasting us with now, but the most interesting thing is that this source is in the region of the Galactic Centre...

    Rare sighting of inverted rainbow causes a stir [UK]
    Burton Mail, 19th August 2010
    IT APPEARED in the skies over East Staffordshire and left witnesses baffled. he sight was so rare that few people in the UK have ever encountered one before. What they saw was an anomaly of nature: the incredible spectacle of an upside down rainbow. [...]

    The phenomenon, which rarely occurs in non-Arctic conditions, is caused by sunlight bending when it hits crystals of ice floating five miles above the Earth.

    The upside down rainbow is in fact so rare that Paul Gilliver, who has run Newhall Weather Station for the Met Office for the last 10 years, was unaware of the sighting. The meteorologist said: "Upside down rainbows are very rare indeed.

    "They are not something I have ever heard of or seen before, but to see one would be quite a spectacle.

    "I presume the cause is the sunlight refracting as it passes through either water or ice in the sky." There have, however, been some sightings of upside down rainbows before in the UK.

    One was spotted by an astronomer as it appeared over Cambridge in September 2008. Another was photographed in August 2009 over Sussex.

    More atmospheric oddities... Previous reports have suggested this is caused by "freak" atmospheric conditions but this is occuring more and more often. Please note my previous comments about dust and condensation nuclei for ice crystals as we know cosmic dust is flooding our solar system.... Here is a previous report from the UK Telgraph in September 2008, Upside down rainbow sparkles in Cambridge.

    Solar Storm Update: Best Times for Viewing Aurorae
    Universe Today, 3rd August 2010
    "The Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics released the latest information on the July 31/August 1 activity on the Sun that is just now reaching Earth. They predict we'll have multiple opportunities for a display of the Northern Lights over the next two days. The latest word from the solar scientists is that the Sun erupted not just once, but four times. All four coronal mass ejections are headed toward Earth."
    4 CMEs?, 4th august 2010

    GEOMAGNETIC STORM--MORE TO COME? The solar storm of August 1st sent two CMEs toward Earth. The first one arrived yesterday, August 3rd, sparking mild but beautiful Northern Lights over Europe and North America (see below). The second CME is still en route. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of major geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on August 4th or 5th. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

    NORTHERN LIGHTS: A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on August 3rd at 1740 UT. The impact sparked a G2-class geomagnetic storm that lasted nearly 12 hours--time enough for auroras to spread all the way from Europe to North America. Travis Novitsky sends this picture from Grand Portage, Minnesota:

    COMPLEX ERUPTION ON THE SUN: On August 1st, the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more. This extreme ultraviolet snapshot from the Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the sun's northern hemisphere in mid-eruption:

    OK, solar scientists have been anticipating that things would get lively, but NOBODY predicted that huge strips of the sun would start peeling off and be flung towards Earth...

    Northern Lights Move South
    Flickr/Yahoo Editorial , August 2010
    "Usually, the Northern Lights can only be seen by folks who live far to the north. But this week, the Aurora Borealis is making an appearance in lower Canada, some of the United States, Norway and other countries around the globe."

    Northern Lights seen as far south as Michigan after Sun's 'solar tsunami'. Now it's the UK's chance tonight
    Daily Mail, 4th August 2010

    Skywatchers in the UK will get a second chance to witness the Northern Lights tonight after missing out on the spectacular sight last night. Parts of northern America, in particular the state of Michigan, were lucky enough to be given clear skies last night and managed to catch the incredible display.

    And David Gavine, the director of the British Astronomical Association's Aurora division, said that there is every chance the UK might be able to see similar views tonight after Denmark enjoyed some wonderful views last night. The sighting in Denmark is significant because it is on much the same geomagnetic latitude as the UK, which determines how far south the aurora is visible. 'So there's every chance, if the skies are clear that we might see something tonight, ' Mr Gavine said. Even though northern states like Michigan are far further south than the UK they are still more likely to see the Northern Lights.

    Stunning! But I think all the attempts at weather control have weakened the atmosphere over the US as another reason why auroras are more likely.

    Northern lights could illuminate the sky late Tuesday night
    CNN News, 3rd August 2010
    Attention, Earthlings: The sun is spewing plasma toward you, and the results could be beautiful.

    Stargazers looking to the sky late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning could see northern lights, or aurorae. According to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the potential light show started Sunday, when the sun's surface erupted and hurled tons of ionized atoms -- or plasma -- into space. Share your skygazing images with CNN

    "This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on August 4th," said astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."

    Great opening line... This is a great NASA animation of a CME blast, but it's a large file so it might take time to load link. has been very busy today.

    CME IMPACT! "The first of possibly two incoming CMEs hit Earth's magnetic field today at approximately 1730 UT (1:30 pm EDT). As a result of the impact, a polar geomagnetic storm is brewing.", 3rd August 2010 link

    Germany gets red auroras! see link .
    The magnetosphere is getting hit hard! See, Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation

    Eye in the sky: 'Sun dog' halo blazes over Bournemouth beach
    Daily Mail, 21st July 2010
    It looks like a giant eye gazing down from the heavens. But the spectacular sight of the sun surrounded by a mysterious halo is known as a 'sun dog'.

    The phenomenon, which had beachgoers in Bournemouth gazing at the sky yesterday, occurs when sunlight is refracted by hexagonal-shaped ice crystals in high and cirrus clouds - and is quite common.

    OK, I strongly suspect that this atmospheric phenomena is caused by extremely fine cosmic dust acting as condensation nuclei for ice particles in the High Atmosphere, as we have been informed by the European space Agency that our solar system is being flooded by 'stardust'. This is what NASA says
    "Ice crystals in clouds need two things to grow: water molecules and something for those molecules to stick to--dust, for example. Water gathering on dust to form droplets or ice crystals is a process called nucleation. It happens all the time in ordinary clouds."
    Source: Strange Clouds - The crew of the ISS have been observing electric-blue "noctilucent" clouds hovering on the edge of space. February 19, 2003, NASA Science News
    These ice crystals will be in the stratosphere, but this explanation also applies to noctilucent clouds right out on the edge of space that were previously rare, but they are now appearing at mid latitudes whereas before, they had only been confined to the poles. See previous comments at Best of the Blog Earth Changes and 'Night-shining' clouds visible in UK skies for rest of the week. has been reporting noctilucent clouds for a few weeks now too see Noctilucent clouds 18th July 2010 & Noctilucent clouds 15th July 2010.

    Record-breaking X-ray blast briefly blinds space observatory, 14th July 2010
    The brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen in X-rays temporarily blinded Swift's X-ray Telescope on 21 June 2010. This image merges the X-rays (red to yellow) with the same view from Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope, which showed nothing extraordinary. (The image is 5 arcminutes across.) Credit: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler

    A blast of the brightest X-rays ever detected from beyond our Milky Way galaxy's neighborhood temporarily blinded the X-ray eye on NASA's Swift space observatory earlier this summer, astronomers now report. The X-rays traveled through space for 5-billion years before slamming into and overwhelming Swift's X-ray Telescope on 21 June. The blindingly bright blast came from a gamma-ray burst, a violent eruption of energy from the explosion of a massive star morphing into a new black hole.

    Hmmm... Yet, another record breaking blast from deep space that swamps the equipment designed to pick up this energy! What's more, astronomers are claiming it was 1.5 times as bright as GRB 080319B that hit the planet in March 2008 from half way across the Universe, and could have been seen for 30 seconds with the naked eye! As, I am recording this growing list of intergalactic record breakers, this will be investigated, but it's more proof that the planet is being hammered by intergalactic energies. Please note: scientists are mute when it comes to explaining the impact on Earth.

    'Rain of luminous beams' appears in the sky of Xiamen Huandao Road [China]
    What's on Xiamen, 12th July 2010
    Dozens of vertical luminous beams appeared in the night sky of Xiamen about 11:30pm last Friday, reports Southeast Express. The singular sight, which lasted for nearly one hour, was first discovered by Mr. Wang's friend, a resident in Huangcuo, near Xiamen's famous Huandao Road.

    According to Mr. Wang, his friend first saw several luminous beams in the sky and then told them to go outside and take a look. They were stunned by the sight before their eyes. "At first, there were only five of them, hanging very low in the sky, but after a short while, the number increased to about 50, and they were higher and higher, just like a stave hanging in the sky," Mr. Wang said.

    The Xiamen meteorological observatory said no such astronomical phenomenon was monitored by the observatory. "But it was not a meteor shower," a staff member said.

    Ice? Even I am becoming more cautious, it's all just getting too much! OK, do we have a re-occurence of the mystery pillars? See, Mystery Pillars The only problem with this theory is the headlines on the same webpage that Xiamen has been suffering from a heat wave! At this stage, unless we have more information, we have another example of strange "astronomical/atmospheric phenomenon".

    Observers in Europe are reporting brightening displays of noctilucent clouds (NLCs). "We had a lovely show on June 15th," says Peter McCabe of Dundalk, Co.Louth, Ireland. "The electric-blue colors were striking." He took this picture using a Canon 450D: [...]

    A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and causing geomagnetic activity around the poles. Zoltan Kenwell sends this picture taken June 16th from a lake shore 150 miles north of Edmonton, Alberta:

    Well, as spaceweather gets more dramatic, I wonder whether people will start to wonder if it's related to the recent unequivocal statement made by NASA on the 4th June 2010:
    NASA: "Earth and space are about to come into contact in a way that's new to human history." link
    I am also wondering at what point the 2012ers will admit that they completely missed the importance of the interpretation of modern Mayan Elders who stated clearly many times, that the New Age would be dominated by aether or space and that we were in a period of transition lasting about 25 years, that could be compared to a birth. Obviously it requires some knowledge of what spacetime or the aether (modern spelling of ether) actually represents, so I think it was too technical for most Mayan calendar pundits. However, I am very very grateful to modern Mayan Elders for taking the time to educate, at least I got it and had time to write a book that was placed in the United Kingdom National Archives in November 2007, despite very little support from others with less ability to see the truth.

    Strange Hole-Punch Clouds Explained
    Wired News, 15th June 2010
    Airplanes can punch holes in clouds and make it rain, new research shows. As propeller or jet airplanes pass through the right atmospheric conditions, they make liquid water droplets freeze and immediately drop as snow, leaving a circular fissure behind.

    Odd clouds can sometimes elude explanation for decades, and these mysterious gaps in the sky, aptly called hole-punch clouds or channel clouds, have been puzzling sky gazers and scientists alike since the 1940s. A 1968 article in the magazine Weatherwise called them "A Meteorological Whodunit?"

    As recently as October 2009, headlines touted a "Mystery UFO Halo Over Moscow." Earlier studies had suggested a link between hole-punch clouds and airplanes, though the mechanism was unclear.

    Well, we have strange punch holes in the skies, punch holes found on ice and now sink holes appearing too. At this moment, I am waiting for more believable explanations before I can come up with any opinion on what's going on...

    Nasa warns solar flares from 'huge space storm' will cause devastation
    The Telegraph, 14th June 2010
    Britain could face widespread power blackouts and be left without critical communication signals for long periods of time, after the earth is hit by a once-in-a-generation "space storm", Nasa has warned.

    National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years.

    Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes "from a deep slumber" sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

    The Sun is quiet but NASA are still warning, I now think the evidence is pointing to something triggering the Sun and hence the increased levels of concern about the cosmic environment from NASA et al. in recent months. Regardless, it's the impact on Earth that is now worrying authorities. Well, in my opinion, it's our reliance on electricity and oil etc that is the problem. We don't have to be vulnerable, but if the lights go out now in our modern technological world, most will not survive, yet there are extremely poor parts of the world that would not even notice that the sun had knocked out national power grids and life would go on. The power brokers have so far choked off alternative and 'free' energy options and now we will see how they cope when their preferred money making and controlling choice is also put to the test.

    Geomagnetic Storm - NOAA, 29th May 2010
    Joint USAF/NOAA Report of Solar and Geophysical Activity
    Geophysical Activity Summary 27/2100Z to 28/2100Z: The geomagnetic field has been quiet to unsettled. An interplanetary shock was observed at the ACE spacecraft at 28/0203Z. Boulder magnetometer observed a 33 nT sudden impulse at 28/0259Z, the activity is most likely due to the arrival of the CME observed on May 23.

    Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to be at predominately unsettled levels with a chance for active periods on day one (29 May) as the CMEs from 23-24 May continue to be geo-effective. Unsettled to active levels are likely are on days two and three (30-31 May) due to the arrival of a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream. In addition, there is a slight chance for isolated minor storm periods during the high speed stream interval.

    Geomagnetic Storm! Well, I downloaded the NICT movie for 28/05/2010 because I knew a CME had been predicted to arrive and it looks like we had several separate hits as the billion tons of plasma arrived in waves, as charged particles travel at different speeds dependent on mass. However today, the current images of the magnetosphere are weird, and according to WE HAVE A BREACH. What that means in real terms is the that Earth has dropped her normal shielding and we are completely open to the cosmic and galactic elements. All quite interesting really. The image icon is taken from NICT realtime Magnetosphere Pressure on 10/05/29 16:23:16 UT. The magnetosphere, Earth's magnetic shield has effectively temporarily disappeared!

    Crazy violent explosion shoots out two cosmic bullets
    Bad Astronomy Blog, 25th May 2010
    I deal with superginormously ridiculous energies, velocities, and sizes all the time as an astronomer. You get used to it after a while… then something like this'll slap you upside the head: a star that exploded more than 5000 years ago launched two epic bullets. One is a cloud of gas screaming away at thousands of kilometers per second, and the other is the cinder of the star itself, an octillion-ton cannonball blasting through space in a totally different direction.

    What's interesting about this article is that it is obvious that Phil Plait realises just how extreme and fierce Magnetars are, but his audience just don't get the implications. Magnetar SGR 0526-66 was the first to be seen in 1979, but not the first to be seen in outburst mode. Our planet is now getting regularly walloped by these celestial monsters in x-rays and gamma rays and some even suspect gravitational waves, but the general public can't really appreciate the implications and I am sure Plait wonders why he is even bothering to enlighten so few. However, what really fascinates me is Plait prides himself on being a skeptic, but his writing about Magnetars is far from skeptical, more like someone who is shocked and awed.

    GEOMAGNETIC STORM: 12:30 UT on April 11th, 12th April 2010
    A coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetic field at approximately 12:30 UT on April 11th. The impact sparked a G2-class geomagnetic storm with auroras over Scandinavia, Scotland, Canada and northern-tier US states such as Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin.

    "It was great," says Martin McKenna of Maghera, Northern Ireland. "On Sunday night, my friend Conor McDonald and I watched the Northern Lights for 3 hours from the Glenshane Pass." They made this self-portrait using a Canon 450D: "Vertical rays of green light shot as high as 20o above the horizon," says McKenna. "Quite a show!"

    And it may not be over. The interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) near Earth is pointing south, an orientation that favors strong geomagnetic activity. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras tonight.

    I saw that the magnetosphere was reacting yesterday, but quite frankly, it is taking lots of hits and many blasts do not seem to be related to specific solar activity. Here is a video of a real storm from November 2004, it will give you something to think about. Download

    Shuttle Cloud, 10th April 2010
    On April 5th, space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral at the crack of dawn. The shuttle began its journey in darkness--the sun was still below the horizon--but moments after it left the pad, Discovery burst into high altitude sunlight and proceeded to put on an extraordinary show. University of Florida astronomy professor Howard Cohen describes what he saw from his home in Gainesville, more than 130 miles from the Cape:

    "The launch began in typical fashion- a brilliant, yellowish glow rising out of the southwest gradually morphing into a white contrail. Impatient observes might have thought that was it.

    But then an amazing contrail, the likes of which I have never seen before, rapidly appeared around and following the shuttle's path. For a short time it resembled a comet streaking across the dawn sky." [...]

    "In binoculars the view was stunning and chilling," Cohen continues. "It was like viewing a comet traveling in fast motion -- I could see the contrail unfolding, glistening and wavering behind the shuttle. Unlike some who might have thought something might have gone wrong, this never entered my mind. I could easily see the shuttle unhesitatingly moving forward."

    Well, it looks like some are scratching their heads and trying to understand what happened at the shuttle launch. The comparison with a comet is telling us that the shuttle ionised the air like a comet does when it enters our atmosphere and since the shuttle has not changed, the conditions in our atmosphere have. The shuttle trail looks like a feather and this pattern can be replicated at all scales and even on a galactic level because it's a standard feature of strong filamentation when plasma experiences intense electrical activity. You can look back in the Spaceweather archives and note that NASA have cancelled rocket launches because of the risk of static electricity buildup on rockets. feather

    Blasted Magnetosphere Recovers - 10th April 2010 04:54:49 UT
    NICT, 10th April 2010

    10th April 2010 04:54:49 UT 10th April 2010 06:41:41 UT
    Comment: Well, the magnetosphere has never looked so bad and looks like some of our normal protection was blown off by the recent blasts of space weather in the form of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and the high velocity solar wind, but it seems to have recovered in only a few hours. Here is the link for the Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation .

    One day it might not fully recover then who knows? We could experience a magnetic reversal. As I have stated many times before, the metaphysical community have been encouraged to work on their energy fields but the reasons were notably vague, but now we know why. We must face the probability that the most serious space weather is yet to come and the need for a good personal plasma shield will become mandatory.

    New image added and the magnetosphere still appears to be exceptionally weak in parts.

    Earth struck by most powerful space storm in three years
    New Scientist, 6th April 2010
    copy: The most powerful geomagnetic storm since December 2006 struck the Earth on Monday, a day earlier than expected.

    On 3 April, the SOHO spacecraft spotted a cloud of charged particles called a coronal mass ejection (CME) shooting from the sun at 500 kilometres per second. This velocity suggested the front would reach Earth in roughly three days. "It hit earlier and harder than forecast," says Doug Biesecker of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

    Fortunately, the storm was not intense enough to interfere strongly with power grids or satellite navigation, but it did trigger dazzling auroras in places like Iceland (pictured). Such storms highlight the uncertainty in the arrival times of CMEs, which can easily be 15 hours off predictions, Biesecker says. Better modelling of the solar wind, which can accelerate CMEs en route to Earth, could reduce the uncertainty.

    Also: Space station flies through big space storm See Prof Leif Svalgaard's comments below.

    Cosmic Climate Change: Space Shuttle Discovery - STS 131 leaves spectacular dragon trails in the sky
    SOTT, 5th April 2010
    Space shuttle Discovery left Earth this morning at 6:21 am EDT in a spectacular dawn launch from Cape Canaveral. The combination of sunrise colors and the comet-like appearance of the departing shuttle astonished onlookers. "It was an awesome sight," says Michael Fertic, who sends this picture from Spring Hill, Florida:

    Originally from, but here all the images are laid out. The 'streak' and ionised air, shown in the main image at is caused by the shuttle .... Anyway, it seems to clearly show that our atmosphere is now highly ionised. Talk of the same effect as noctilucent clouds implies highly charged dust (forming condensation nuclei for the ice) that maybe sourced from the dusty plasma invading our solar system.

    GEOMAGNETIC STORM:, 5th April 2010
    A sharp gust of solar wind hit Earth's magnetosphere today, April 5th, at approximately 0800 UT. The impact sparked a strong geomagnetic storm (Kindex=7). High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.

    We are experiencing high levels of geomagnetic activity and a very fast solar wind which normally averages 300 km/s but at the moment it is at 700-800km/s. The following images will not be around for long but the magnetosphere is looking ragged.
    2010/04/05 13:04:10 UT
    2010/04/05 13:25:10 UT
    2010/04/05 13:45:10 UT
    The image icon here is from the first link provided above. Earthquakes were being predicted but due to USGS warnings, the factors are piling up for a bigger earthquake in the California region.

    Spaceweather alert – first "red alert" in 6 years
    From WUWT, Professor Leif Svalgaard writes:
    This is indeed the first serious magnetic storm of cycle 24. It is still only a moderate storm [K-index = 7; a really big storm has K-index = 9; the K-index is approximately logarithmic: a doubling of the storm amplitude adds another unit to the K-index]. The storm is caused by a CME in the form of a helical magnetic flux-rope still rooting in the Sun at both ends. At the front end of the approaching rope the field was pointing North, so not much reconnection happened and the effect was minor. The back-end had Southward pointing field and that feed energy into the magnetosphere. Because the event was short-lived and the magnetic field modest within the rope, the storm did not develop into an extreme event. There is an interesting twist to this: The North-South component of the heliomagnetic field [HMF] when it impacts the Earth controls largely the strength of the interaction. The result is an intensification of the auroral oval at [magnetic] latitude ~67 degrees [called a substorm; a big storm has several of these in succession] with magnetic effect underneath it. source & more

    LENTICULAR LIGHTS:, 31st March 2010
    Yesterday, a storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains of central California decorated the sky with wind-sculpted lenticular clouds. When photographer Andrew Kirk stepped outside to observe, he got more than he bargained for:

    "With a high wind warning posted for the area, lenticular clouds were no surprise," says Kirk. "But the beautiful iridescence late in the afternoon was a special gift." He positioned a local church between his camera and the sun to reduce the glare and highlight the phenomenon.

    Iridescence is caused by sunlight diffracting through water droplets. Lenticular clouds are a good place for this to happen because the clouds are filled with tiny droplets of nearly uniform size--a combination that produces vivid pastel colors.

    Very pretty, but in the current environment of many formerly unusual and rare atmospheric displays being seen regularly, we have to wonder at where this is all leading.

    Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation - 25th march 2010 15:00 UT
    NICT, 25th March 2010

    According to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, no space weather storms were expected for the 25th March, but something is hitting the Earth's magnetosphere with some heavy force! What's more this plus the subsequent images created ever 20 minutes, looks like huge chunks of the magnetosphere is missing? Since these images and data are created by Japanese scientists with ACE satellite data, which I think is better than anything NASA et al. have to offer, it's clear that the Earth's cosmic defences are in a terrible state.

    The pressure images are the most bizarre I have ever seen over the two hour period following the hit captured above.

    Update 2
    OK, I don't know what the hell is happening today, there must have been some serious breaches, totally amazing.... 1- Take a look! & 2- Take a look!. I hope someone does a 24 hours movie for YouTube, otherwise the movie can be downloaded directly from the NICT website on the 26th onwards.

    Ghana: 'Rainbow' appears in the sky
    Africa News, 10th March 2010
    Ghanaians were held spellbound when the halo phenomenon emerged in the skies late Wednesday morning. Hundreds of people stepped out of their offices to take pictures of the celestial wonders. Onlookers believed it was signs of the last days. "Jesus is coming today," fascinated Victoria Mintah told AfricaNews.

    An intelligent African in this video news report stated that it could be the "ozone layer coming down", and he was fairly close. I also note the young girl at the beginning talking about "rays that occurred yesterday", I wonder what that was about... Anyway, what it suggests is that the ozone layer over Ghana, Africa was depleted allowing in more ultra-violet light, but Ghana is not know for it's heavy atmospheric pollution to generate the amount of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that would produce a hole in the ozone layer. Well, some scientists dispute that CFCs are the culprits and others cite the effect of the Earth's magnetic field and cosmic rays, (see previous comments). We also know that geomagnetic storms can temporarily remove the ozone layer in the stratosphere and declines of 60% have been recorded. Therefore we have to suspect that something else related to Space Weather and the fact that Ghana is only just a few degrees of the equator. So despite lots of old images of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) appearing to not come close, research papers tell us something different and as we are told the SAA is growing. Therefore, it looks like we have been provided with some clear observational evidence. Here is a map that I think is more current SAA
    OK, another explanation, could be a 22° Circular Halo but they only form at a standard size and here we seem to have a smaller inner ring.

    Southern Russia overwhelmed with purple snow
    RT News, 9th March 2010
    The very morning following the widely celebrated Woman's Day - people in Southern Russia could not believe their eyes when they found purple snow piled on city streets.

    Scientists confirmed a multi-coloured snowfall – ranging from light purple to brown – had landed in Russia's Stavropol Region. Experts are still baffled, saying they need a day to analyse the snow, while environmentalists claim high pollution levels in Stavropol caused the event.

    A similar incident took place some years ago in Russia's Far East, though climatologists say this was caused by a dust-storm mixing with snow in the clouds. Video [0:39]

    OK, two weeks ago it was purple fog in Hungary, this week it's purple snow and baffled scientists, well actually the baffled scientists are not a surprise...

    Please note the standard excuses of algae, Sarahan dust and chemical pollution that have been given for previously coloured snow. Is Snow Always White? However, we also know that 2001 Red rain in Kerala, India was initially diagnosed as red cells that had no DNA, presumably from an extraterrestrial source and even the New Scientists ran an article headlined in April 2006, "Does it look alien to you?". This has huge implications for how life started on Earth and how we are influenced by extraterrestrial events. Panspermia advocates who include Nobel Prize winners are increasingly being vindicated after decades of vilification. So, will we get purple rain?

    PURPLE HAZE: Veszprem, Hungary, 27th February 2010
    [Copy] "I was work early yesterday, just before local sunrise, when I looked out the window," says Monika Landy-Gyebnar of Veszprem, Hungary. "What I saw made me wonder if someone had put something 'extra' in my coffee." The landscape was blanketed by an intense purple fog:

    "I asked my colleague, who's not a coffee drinker, if he also saw the unbelievable color and he said 'yes.' I took some pictures and they also had the same color. So it was reality, not a psychedelic vision." What caused this strange apparition?

    It was the sunrise. "Using some weather webcams, I looked around the city and saw that other places without fog were also purple, pink and red," she continues. "Colorful sunrise rays were painting everything. The scattering of this light by tiny water droplets in the fog was truly wonderful!"

    "Today's fog reminded me that the 43rd anniversary of Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze is just around the corner. It was first released on March 17, 1967."
    Purple haze all in my brain
    Lately things just don't seem the same
    Actin' funny, but I don't know why
    'Scuse me while I kiss the sky
    Comment: Yes, it's getting stranger and stranger... If air, (nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor) is converted to a plasma, it becomes pinkish purple, if nitrogen and oygen are converted to a plasma it becomes purple so we have to assume that in Hungary, dry air became ionised and how that came about can only be speculated about, but there are places where this happens naturally see Roan Mountain Purple Fog.

    Interestingly, at run by William R. Corliss famed for his research into unusual phenomena, he has no entry for purple fog and that is weird because he has been collating rare atmospheric and meteorological phenomena recorded over the last 750 years. I have got some of his books and his catalogs are online, so there is purple light that occurs just a few minutes before sunsets and sunrises due to light being scattered by dust, anomalous purple lights in the skies, purple ball lightning and purple rainbows but no purple fog! What's more, checking the internet we now have examples of a purple sun which is also not in his catalogs. I will do some more fact checking when I have time. Hmmm....

    Please note the Northern lights entry too, but it's not as good as the spiral in the northern sky seen about a week ago, see

    Feb 18, 2010. Underneath the Aurora Borealis
    "A shot from last nights tour. Photographer: Andrew Keen. Equipment used: Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24 mm f/ 1.4L USM Series Lens lens, Gitzo Tripod. Exposure time 13s at ISO 800." Another awesome spiral in the sky. Something else to think about as we being buffeted by Space Weather. We can also muse on the quote from last week: "Normally the auroras come and fade, but now it's like someone is constantly feeding a fire."

    Someone collates the events of the last week, is there a connection?
    Giant Spiral Aurora – a Portent?
    "We are tracking a very strong connection between the collapse of the magnetic filament that was tracked all last week, the 3 simultaneous CMEs that were recorded from the moment of the collapse, these Auroras and the Chilean Earthquake on 2/27/2010."

    Mystery ‘Halo' cloud appears over Mexico
    Metro News, 22nd February 2010
    A mystery ‘Halo' cloud has appeared in the skies over Mexico, resulting in speculation of a UFO visit to the central American state.

    It isn't the first time such a cloud formation has been spotted, after a similar mystery ‘Halo' formation was spotted in the skies over Moscow late last year. [...]

    Even the Met Office has been left baffled by the mystery cloud, or its causes, with spokeswoman Sarah Holland stating: "Aircraft exhausts could play a part in the freezing process but the precise cause is unknown."

    Some believe that the phenomenon in Mexico can be explained as a result of a meteorite punching through the cloud layer. UFO expert Nick Pope adds "The similarity with the so-called Halo cloud seen recently over Russia is striking. One possibility is that a meteorite or fireball punched through the cloud.

    "This could explain the strange sound reported and the fact that a crater was apparently found."

    Well, these "Fallstreak Hole Clouds" or "Punch Hole Clouds" keep coming and there is no credible theories to explain what is causing them. A meteor punching a hole theory sounds credible, but defies what is known about how meteors behave. We await some real research or investigation. However, I think I will speculate that in this case it may have been caused by a beam of energy that generates a central cloud feature in the hole that looks dendritic to me, a sign of high energy. The others may only be variations on a theme based on the angle that the energy hits lower level clouds and the type of aerosols in the clouds would make a difference, as well as cloud thickness to generate 'rims' like in the Moscow example. Quite frankly, I am not even sure whether these punched hole clouds are natural or artificial, I imagine that a satellite with some advanced technology could so something similar.

    Pictured: Incredible moment the sky ripples as rocket goes supersonic
    Daily Mail, 20th February 2010
    This is the incredible moment that an Atlas V rocket went supersonic. This amateur video captures a rocket exceeding the speed of sound and passing through a sun dog, creating a visually stunning rippling effect, akin to a UFO.

    I saw reports days ago about a NASA rocket smashing a sun dog, but I could not understand what was so exciting about that. However, the UK Daily Mail has provided us with amateur video footage and it's the rare occurence of plasma combined with ice crystals in the atmosphere creating the ripple that is the most interest. We have seen this ripple effect a few times now around the world and it highly suspect that something fundamental has changed in our atmosphere. Richard Hoagland pointed out the electromagnetic excitation of "a standing-wave pattern in an electrified medium -- i.e. a plasma" may have been the cause of the Norwegian spiral but here we have a real rocket making the effect that is like dropping a pebble in a pond NOT a spiral which needs two current carrying plasmas colliding to generate a spiral (Peratt, 1980) something he forgets to mention. This ripple effect has been seen in the sky more recently but the few historical examples that can be found are still considered a curiosity... Hmmm.....

    NORTHERN LIGHTS:, 20th February 2010
    A solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and stirring up auroras around the Arctic Circle. "Last night, the entire sky was filled with fast moving bands and curtains," reports Fredrik Broms of Kvaløya, Norway. He snapped this picture of "one very happy sky watcher":

    "I am amazed at the amount of activity we've been getting this week," Broms adds. "Normally the auroras come and fade, but now it's like someone is constantly feeding a fire."

    Indeed, for polar aurora watchers, Feb. 2010 has been the best month in quite some time. It's a sign that the sun is coming back to life after a long, deep solar minimum. Sunspots have returned crackling with solar flares, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are once again buffeting Earth's magnetic field. NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% to 30% chance of more geomagnetic activity tonight.

    Maybe, it's to do with the fact that the Earth's magnetic field is now very weak and may even have collapsed for a while, so the solar wind is now directly hitting our atmosphere to generate superb auroras. Whenever I go and watch what's happening with the magnetosphere, there always seems to be some action, even if there is not some severe pressure and the magnetosphere is red/white hot, the magnetic field lines are often contorted into a mess. Here is a YouTube clip for the beginning of February, YouTube - Magnetosphere Simulation, Feb, 2 2010 ~ 7 days.

    Things were very strange in January, these are saved screen shots but the originals see here, Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation, have long disappeared to be incorporated into movies that are on the NICT website or sometimes they are appearing on YouTube generated by 'concerned' fellow citizens of Earth. See

    Ultra scary magnetosphere and magnetic field lines 20th january 2010 link 1, link2 & link3

    This is a few days later, YouTube - YouTube - magnetosphere Feb, 8 2010 & Nict Magnetosphere Simulation Feb 16/17/18th 2010

    The sun is crackling with B and C class flares and I don't have time to work out where the major blasts from galactic sources are mixed into the fray. Quite frankly, reports of the bright and persistent auroras are not enough to give the public the impression that there have been drastic changes in the near Earth environment of Earth.


    Feb 18, 2010. Underneath the Aurora Borealis
    "A shot from last nights tour. Photographer: Andrew Keen. Equipment used: Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24 mm f/ 1.4L USM Series Lens lens, Gitzo Tripod. Exposure time 13s at ISO 800." Another awesome spiral in the sky.

    Polar Stratospheric Cloud Alert
    Optics Picture of the Day, 26th January 2010
    On the evening of Tuesday 26th January, southern and eastern England plus The Netherlands experienced spectacular colourful sunsets and prolonged twilights. Very likely they were visible over an even wider area.

    From my home in Norfolk, England a sunset with an extended and unusually yellow sky was followed by an intense red band in the southwest. Saturated red hues deepened slowly through an unearthly dark blood colour to yet darker crimsons as the uncommonly long twilight progressed.

    The top image shows a similar sunset witnessed at Deventer in The Netherlands by atmospheric optics expert Peter Paul Hattinga Verschure. He comments "The sun glowed up in bright orange and red colours, shining through a thin layer of high cloud…."

    The prolonged twilights suggest that light has been scattering off dust, but where is the dust coming from? Well, unless there have been some volcanic eruptions that have not been publicised, maybe this is dust coming from space. More photos:

    Strange clouds in the sky over the Palm Beaches News, 15th January 2010
    WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- There were some strange clouds spotted over south Florida on Thursday.

    They looked like a line or circle just dropped out of the sky. A steady flow of viewer pictures have come into Click the slide show to see some of them. They are commonly mistaken for UFOs because of their unusual appearance. These clouds are called "Fallstreak Hole Clouds" or "Punch Hole Clouds".

    They are rare and usually for from cirrocumulus or altocumulus clouds (high clouds) about 3 to 7.5 miles up. It happens when the water particles in the clouds are below freezing, but haven't actually frozen yet because there's no particle for it to freeze on.

    When there finally is something for the water vapor to freeze on (airplane exhaust, dust, ash, etc) the water freezes and sets up a chain reaction or domino effect, causing the frozen water droplets to drop to the earth leaving a large hole or line in the cloud.

    Just taking note of the occurence of this phenomena. The slideshow here is also interesting...... The explanation of no particles for water to freeze on is just completely unbelievable and I have not seen that excuse used elsewhere.

    The Magnetosphere Blast of the Week - 6th January 2010
    YouTube, 6th January 2010
    Comment: Real-time Magnetosphere Simulation movies are produced by Japanese scientists, using real-time solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field data observed routinely by the ACE satellite. Since the planet is being blasted regularly now in accordance to predictions that the deliver of evolutionary energies will dramatically step up 100,000 times year on year between 2007 and 2012, these blasts have become more and more frequent and of course, a few folk have noticed! If you download the movie for the day, you will see we got hit twice, the most noticeable at 21:10:03 UT yet there was also a B5 solar flare at 19:50:00 UT, but it does not seem as if this last major blast was related to solar activity. The regular contortions of the Earth's magnetic field lines are quite incredible....

    AURORAS AND A RAINBOW AT NIGHT:, 25th December 2009
    At midnight on Dec. 23rd, Karl Johnston found himself climbing down a cliff on the banks of the Slave River, near Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories of Canada. He paused for breath, looked out over the rapids, and this is what he saw:

    "A rainbow was cutting through the aurora borealis," he says.

    A rainbow at night? "Moonlight was shining into the mist above the rapids--and that's what made the rainbow," he explains. Technically, it's called a fogbow. Fogbows are close cousins of rainbows and they are formed in essentially the same way: light bounces in and out of water droplets to produce a luminous arc.

    Johnston's lunar fogbow formed above the rapids just as a solar wind stream was buffeting Earth's magnetic field, giving rise to auroras and a rare conjunction of Arctic night lights. It's enough to make you scale a cliff at midnight. More images: #1, #2, #3.

    I have the book Rare Halos, Mirages, Anomalous Rainbows and Related Electromagnetic Phenomena by William R. Corliss. In this book, this is defined as a Lunar Rainbow, Fogbows are white arcs. It seems that not so long ago, this was a very rare occurence, but these days, as the electromagnetic environment changes, these kind of natural phenomena are becoming more frequent. Yet, a good scientific explanation is still very hazy and I now believe that is because the role of plasma in generating these light effects is still poorly understood.

    STRANGE LIGHTS OVER NORWAY:, 9th December 2009
    This morning in Norway, people saw a strange and still-unexplained phenomenon. Eye-witness Nick Banbury of Harstad reports: "We are used to seeing lots of auroras here in Arctic Norway, but on my way to work this morning I saw something completely unexpected. Between 7:50 and 8:00 a.m. local time, there was a strange light in the sky," shown here in a photo taken by Jan Petter:

    "It consisted initially of a green beam of light similar in colour to the aurora with a mysterious rotating spiral at one end," continues Banbury. "This spiral then got bigger and bigger until it turned into a huge halo in the sky with the green beam extending down to the earth. According to the press, this could be seen all over northern norway and must therefore have been very high up in the atmosphere to be seen hundreds of km apart."

    "[A popular] suggestion at the moment is that it was a rocket shot up by a Russian submarine in the white sea, but the Russians deny this apparently. A big mystery indeed!"

    Wow!! Check out the images over in the Norwegian press! here #1, here # 2 & here #3 Well, I have to wonder, how many people are going to start asking some serious questions!!!!!!!!!

    Update #1
    This has hit the mainstream media, the comment about lasers does not explain how this could be seen all over Northern Norway which would cover thousands of square miles, see Mystery as spiral blue light display hovers above Norway.

    Update #2
    This is a real mystery, see something similar over China April 2009. For those who still think this is a Russian missile, I doubt very much whether in this case, diplomatic relations between Russia and China are good enough for missile 'tests'! What's more, even though this commentary is in Chinese, listen to how many times they say UFO! link.

    Update #3
    At the moment the Russians, are still not fully admitting that this was a rocket that had failed. What is odd is that this looked like a blue orb that jumped about in the sky FIRST before it started to swirl before emitting the turquoise light for 12 - 10 minutes (Daily Mail), nothing like an out of control missile and enough time to make sure a few people got some good photos....

    At the moment, since there are reports that this also happened on 1st November 2009, see Earlier version of "Norwegian Spiral" took place in November.. Obviously, this is very suspicious as a similar event happened in China (see update #2) and we are expected to believe they all have the same cause.... Unsurprisingly, the Norwegian authorities prefer to have an answer, even if it's just a cover .... See, Did Russian military spark Norway UFO frenzy?

    However, it is inevitable, that some believe this was an attempt at contact, see Norway wormhole is First Contact, claim UFO watchers . interestingly, we find, "It looked like a rocket that spun around and around - and then went diagonally across the heavens," Totto Eriksen, from Tromso in northern Norway, told The Sun. Hmmm...

    Update #4 This may be significant, Fire in the sky; strange lights over Norwegian military base & Interview with Norwegian photographer and Russian military official:

    Is this strange light a UFO? Why would the Russians launch a missile that could 'fail' over a Norwegian military base? If you are familiar with UFO reports, military installations are a popular haunt and I believe it has got NOTHING to do with aliens checking out our weapons. From the evidence available, it seems that orbs/UAPs do not like our radiation and the leakage of radiation into our atmosphere makes the orbs/UAPs much easier to see. I think the answer looks more and more like this is an orb that came in and out of a "wormhole" and took the opportunity to draw the world's attention, similar to many other recent events, but we really need some help here with the WHY? Personally, I think it is because the orbs realise that most humans are clueless and unaware of the fact that we share this planet with another lifeform. Due to the changing aetheric environment, (our planet is being flooded with cosmic radiation), our neighbours are becoming much easier to see. Therefore, I think they are literally just introducing themselves.

    Update #5
    Just in case this is not obvious, failed rockets are destroyed by remote control before they have any opportunity to cause any damage. The thought that the Russians would have allowed a failed rocket to be projected 700 miles over NATO neighbours Finland, Sweden and the Norway to make a picturesque swirl on limited fuel is absurd.

    UPSIDE-DOWN RAINBOWS:, 11th November 2009
    Lately, sky watchers have been reporting a growing number of "upside-down rainbows." Here's one that appeared yesterday over Lansford, Pennsylvania:

    "This was just amazing and beyond exciting," says photographer Brenda Pun. "I grabbed my camera (a Nikon D40x) and quickly took some shots before it could disappear."

    Despite its rainbow-like appearance, this is not a rainbow. It's a circumzenithal arc. Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley calls it "the most beautiful of all ice haloes." The circumzenithal arc, or "CZA" for short, is formed by sunlight shining through plate-shaped ice crystals in high clouds. "The CZA is often described as an 'upside down rainbow' by first timers. Someone also charmingly likened it to 'a grin in the sky.'"

    The same ice crystals that make circumzenithal arcs also make sundogs. Indeed, Brenda Pun saw a pair of bright sundogs flanking the sun while she was photographing her CZA. 'Dogs and grins naturally go together.

    Circumzenithal arcs typically appear in late autumn and early winter when the air is icy and the sun is low. "The CZA forms only when sun is less than 32°," notes Cowley, "and it is at its best when the sun is about 22° high." As winter solstice approaches, "upside down rainbows" will become increasingly common. Look for them!
    According to, there are increasing reports of this 'rare' atmospheric phenomena, which goes to show that many 'events' are not being reported and signify that massive changes are taking place in our atmosphere.

    Rainbow in the dark: Bright Moon creates stunning arc at night
    Daily Mail, 3rd November 2009
    This rare ghostly picture shows a full lunar rainbow arcing over the countryside in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Rainbows appear when sunlight is reflected from raindrops, but in this case the Sun had set hours before. Instead a particularly bright Moon created the impressive bow. Photographer Chris Walker captured the picture as he was driving through a storm around 7pm last Sunday.

    Yes, but we are getting a large selection of atmospheric rarities on an almost weekly basis.....

    "UFO halo" in the sky baffles Muscovites
    RT News, 8th October 2009
    copy : "Millions of residents in Moscow witnessed a strange bright ring-shaped cloud hanging over the city's western districts on Wednesday. Scientists from the city's weather forecast service say there is nothing supernatural about it, however.

    "It's a purely optical effect, even if a spectacular one. You can see really strange things if you watch the clouds regularly," Vesti24 TV channel, which published a mobile phone camera video sent to them by an eyewitness, cites the service. "Several air fronts have passed Moscow recently, including an inflow of cold air from Arctic, and they combined to produce such a phenomenon," the source added."

    I am amazed that officials have strayed from the usual line that a strange sky phenomenon was caused by a Russian missile launch or space debris. Watch the video here or a version from a resident in Moscow that has been posted on YouTube, UFO Like Cloud Filmed Over Moscow - 10-06-09 . Something is going on, that's for sure..... This story has now hit the mainstream press, the headline may worry a few, Pictured: The Independence Day-shaped cloud hovering in the skies over Moscow .

    SPLIT SKY, 13th August 2009
    ""On my way to view the Perseid meteor shower on August 11th, I witnessed a spectacular sunset," reports Tyler Burg of Little Sioux, Iowa. "The sky seemed to split in half!" The dark half was a vast shadow, Burg realized, and he looked around to find the source. "The shadow was cast by a thunderstorm floating between me and the sun," he says. "It was crackling beautifully with lightning."

    Again, another strange atmospheric effect.

    Smile, there's an upside-down rainbow in the sky over Sussex [UK]
    Daily Mail, 12th August 2009
    "The 'upside-down rainbow', spotted over Sussex, is in fact not a rainbow at all. Enlarge upside down rainbow snapped over Sussex. Rather than being caused by raindrops, it is the result of freak atmospheric conditions rarely seen outside the North and South Poles.

    While normal rainbows are formed when light penetrates raindrops and emerges on the other side without changing direction, the smile is formed when sunlight shines through millions of tiny ice crystals in cirrus and cirrus stratus clouds. Because the crystals are flat and hexagonal, they invert the light and create an upside-down curve called a circumzenithal arc. The phenomenon relies on the sun being low in the sky, normally less than 32 degrees from the horizon. The arcs can appear at any time of the year, hovering in the sky only fleetingly because clouds tend to move quickly near the zenith.

    More 'freak' atmospheric conditions over the UK.

    AURORA SURPRISE:, 23rd July 2009
    AURORA SURPRISE: Sometimes the auroras are so bright, you just can't sleep. "I was up all night on July 21st, but it was totally worth it!" says photographer Zoltan Kenwell of Chip Lake, Alberta. This is what kept him awake:

    "It was a very impressive show that lasted 4.5 hours!" says Kenwell. Forecasters did not predict this display. It began on when a seemingly minor solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field. The minor hit turned into a not-so-minor display because a crack opened in Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar wind to pour in and fuel the storm. Northern Lights descended as far south as the Dakotas, Montana, Iowa and Wisconsin. The solar wind is still blowing, but the crack has closed, bringing an end to the lights. Until next time, browse the gallery: July 2009 Aurora Gallery.

    There is a lot going on with solar eclipses, noctilucent clouds and now "surprise" auroras caused when the Earths magnetic field opens up with a 'crack' for reasons we don't understand. Therefore, we have to acknowledge that metaphysical sources correctly predicted the arrival date of another specific delivery of evolutionary energies, at the time of the longest solar eclipse for more than a century.

    "In France, yesterday was Bastille Day, and the heavens themselves joined the party. "As we celebrated the storming of the Bastille on July 14th, noctilucent clouds (NLCs) stormed the sky of Paris!" reports Olivier Lagrave who photographed the Eiffel Tower framed in electric blue: "The display was so breathtaking (my first actually) that I almost forgot to watch the fireworks," he says.

    Noctilucent clouds are seldom seen as far south as France--not to mention seen through fireworks. But the display wasn't over when Bastille Day ended. By sunrise on July 15th, the mysterious clouds had invaded the United States."

    See the 16th July report NLCs INVADE THE USA Hmmm... People have never seen these clouds before because in the past they have been confined to the most northern latitudes but something fundamental is happening. See previous entries and archives Space Weather.

    Finally, the appearance of noctilucent clouds in southern latitudes and the reason WHY, in combination with a plethora of other Earth changes, which are mainly electromagnetic in origin, re-inforces the notion that the 2012 Bandwagonistas have no real idea about what is taking place on this planet. As I wrote in my article, 2012 Galactic Cosmology some basic information from Mayan sources has been misconstrued into something that is far removed from what the Maya teach concerning the dynamics of Earth's and human's interaction with universal energies.

    The Sun puts on some fireworks for the 4th of July
    Watts Up With That, 4th July 2009
    "From The most active sunspot of the year so far is emerging in the sun's southern hemisphere: movie. Sunspot 1024 has at least a dozen individual dark cores and it is crackling with B-class solar flares. This morning, amateur astronomer David Tyler caught one of the flares in action from his backyard solar observatory in England:"

    Well the previously 'dead' sun has sprung to life! For more info and

    Midnight sun: Night-shining clouds light up dark skies of Britain
    Daily Mail, 18th June 2009
    "With the sun dappled across these white clouds and a deep blue sky, it appears dawn is about to break. But this remarkable photograph of an English rural landscape near was taken at midnight and shows the rare phenomenon of 'night shining.' [...]

    the phenomenon was first recorded in 1885, two years after the Krakatoa eruption, when several tonnes of carbon dioxide, ash and dust were emitted into the atmosphere. However scientists do not know why the clouds have become more common since then rather than fading away. They have speculated that debris from space may be the answer. [...]

    Noctilucent clouds certainly seem to be spotted with more frequency today and they are appearing brighter than ever.' [...]

    'The clouds are becoming brighter, occurring more frequently with time and they are being observed at lower latitudes than ever before,' an AIM mission expert said.

    I have only highlighted here additional information that I have not noted in past articles. The suggestion of debris from space may cause some to think of space debris but we have been informed by the European Space Agency (ESA) that stardust is entering our solar system and is likely increase until 2012, see ESA sees stardust storms heading for Solar System . Ignore the references to global warming. Scientists who are experts in this phenomenon admit they don't fully understand what is going on and the current research appears to imply that the clouds are actually highly electrified.

    The most informative report came in September 2008 when an experimental plasma physicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) revealed that "the ice grains in noctilucent clouds are coated with a thin film of metal, made of sodium and iron. The metal film causes radar waves to reflect off ripples in the cloud in a manner analogous to how X-rays reflect from a crystal lattice." This also means that these ice grains can be more easily electrified and as we know for a fact, that the electrical conditions in near Earth environment have become "extreme". See previous reports at The best of the Blog - Space Weather.

    NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS:, 18th June 2009
    Copy: NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: "Breathtaking. A crackerjack display. The best in years!" These are a few of the things veteran observers are saying about the ongoing "noctilucent storm" over Europe. The electric-blue clouds have been sighted from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, Russia and the British Isles. On June 16th, photographer Bryan Tobias was flying across the North Atlantic at 36,000 feet when he looked out the window and saw this: Image

    "It was absolutely beautiful!" says Tobias. "We were a few hundred miles south of Greenland at the time of the display. The flight crew had no idea what the phenomenon was, but I was able to explain. No one could sleep because the clouds were so beautiful."

    This could be the beginning of a very busy summer for noctilucent clouds (NLCs). For reasons no one fully understands, NLCs tend to be most active during years of solar minimum. 2009 is such a year. The sun is in the pits of the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century, and many researchers expect a banner season for these mysterious clouds.

    To hunt for them, look west 30 to 60 minutes after sunset when the Sun has dipped 6o to 16o below the horizon: diagram. If you see luminous blue-white tendrils spreading across the sky, you've probably spotted a noctilucent cloud. Although noctilucent clouds appear most often at high latitudes, they have been sighted in recent years as far south as Colorado, Utah and Virginia.

    Don't you think it's a bit strange that 'The flight crew had no idea what the phenomenon was' when they spend thousands of hours in the air? We know that noctilucent clouds are appearing further and further south of the poles and as the evidence suggests, these clouds are electrified (see previous entries), this can be compared to auroras that also creep south when we are experiencing major geomagnetic storms.

    The cloud with no name: Meteorologists campaign to classify unique 'Asperatus' clouds seen across the world
    Daily Mail UK, 2nd June 2009
    "Whipped into fantastical shapes, these clouds hang over the darkening landscape like the harbingers of a mighty storm. But despite their stunning and frequent appearances, the formations have yet to be officially recognised with a name. They have been seen all over Britain in different forms - from Snowdonia to the Scottish Highlands - and in other parts of the world such as New Zealand, but usually break up without producing a storm. [...]

    The Royal Meteorological Society is now gathering detailed information for the days and locations where the asperatus clouds have been seen in an attempt to understand exactly what is causing them. Officials will then apply to the UN's World Meteorological Organisation in Geneva to have the new cloud type considered for addition into the International Cloud Atlas, the system used by meteorologists across the globe."

    We are seeing yet another NEW atmospheric phenomenon and it seems it's so NEW it has not even received a name.

    Space storm caught slamming into Earth's atmosphere
    News Scientist, 26th May 2009
    "A space storm has been observed exploding from a central point in Earth's upper atmosphere for the first time. The result could one day lead to better predictions of the storms, which can harm satellites and power grids on the ground. The energy that powers space storms comes from clouds of plasma hurled at Earth by the sun.

    These clouds stretch our planet's magnetic field like a rubber band, storing energy in a long magnetic tail behind our planet. The energy released when the field snaps back into place creates the ethereal glow of auroras (see a gallery of the light shows). It also floods the space around our planet with radiation that can incapacitate satellites and sicken astronauts, and can trigger electric currents on Earth capable of knocking out power grids."

    The headline is a little misleading here because what the scientists are describing is the Earth's reaction to the ferocity of the solar wind and any space weather that might be occuring. From the description, it almost seems like the equivalent of an electromagnetic pulse that has been usually termed a "substorm" that happen daily, older reports have stated 3/4 times a day but here we are being told that these events take place every three hours. Plasma is the basic primordial and spiritual energy of the universe and Earth is capturing ever increasing amounts of this highly charged energy and using it to evolve. Humanity as a whole is also being effected by the increasing amounts of this energy. As some metaphysical folk are consciously choosing to spiritually evolve, their evolution will be faster.

    Mystery Pillars, 2nd January 2009
    Copy 2nd Jan: ""The air was very cold and filled with small ice crystals on Dec. 28th when we saw these strange pillars of light," reports Aigar Truhin of Sigulda, Latvia. "My son exclaimed, The aliens are coming!" It certainly looked that way." Truhin snapped this picture using his Nikon D90: Photo details: Nikon D90, 5 sec. exposure @ ISO 200-640 [here]

    Many people have seen light pillars. They appear during winter when city lights shine upward into the icy air. Reflections from plate-shaped crystals spread the light into a vertical column: examples.Truhin's pillars, however, are not the ordinary kind. Even two leading experts in atmospheric optics can't quite figure them out:

    "These pillars are mysterious," say Les Cowley and Marko Riikonen.
    "They have unexplained curved tops and even curved arcs coming from their base. Arcs in rare displays like these could be from column crystals to give parts of tangent arcs, others could be the enigmatic Moilanan arc or even the recently discovered reflected Parry arc. We do not know – so take more photos on cold nights!"

    Absoluely fanatastic! Note the different colours! More evidence of the downpour of New Energies!

    Strange Clouds at the Edge of Space
    NASA, 25th August 2008
    "Last month, astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) witnessed a beautiful display of noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds."

    "People first noticed NLCs at the end of the 19th century after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. The Indonesian supervolcano hurled plumes of ash more than 50 km high in Earth's atmosphere. This produced spectacular sunsets and, for a while, turned twilight sky watching into a worldwide pastime. One evening in July 1885, Robert Leslie of Southampton, England, saw wispy blue filaments in the darkening sky. He published his observations in the journal Nature and is now credited with the discovery of noctilucent clouds.

    Scientists of the 19th century figured the clouds were some curious manifestation of volcanic ash. Yet long after Krakatoa's ash settled, NLCs remained."

    What's interesting is that we know there is a connection with cloud cover and global temperatures and clouds are generated by cosmic ray activity in conjunction with the Earth's Electric field. Yet, scientists are really "puzzled" by ice in the "rarefied layer of Earth's upper atmosphere that is one hundred million times dryer than air from the Sahara desert". Some researchers see a connection with the increase in cosmic dust entering our solar system since the 1990s. Whatever, for certain, climate models cannot take this atmospheric phenomena into account as it's still "a mystery".

    A huge solar flare (CME) Credit: NASA (April 2001)
    YouTube, 19th July 2008
    Comment: This is a recently released coronagraph compilation by NASA for April 2001. Hmmm....I suppose NASA are trying to prepare people, as the current depth of the Sun's slumber must be very worrying....

    What's interesting, is that the massive X-rated solar flares were even bigger in 2003, but often the monitoring X-ray detectors could not cope and were often totally blinded. Incidentally, the X-rating was only introduced in the mid 1990s when the activity of the Sun just went off the charts. Who knows what will happen if NASA's own predictions come true for the peak of the next solar cycle which will probably be around 2012....

    We live in a world highly dependent on technology which can be disrupted by fluctuating geomagnetic storms. For example the last massive geomagnetic storm in December 2006 (the biggest burst of electromagnetic energy in 30 years), caused effects on GPS that were 10x bigger than ever recorded. Yet, by 2012 the plans are to have all planes operated by GPS....sigh!

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    Susan Joy Rennison, B.Sc.Hons. (Physics with Geophysics)


    Joyfire Science & Metaphysics Integration
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    Susan Joy Rennison quotes:

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    As the Sun Awakens, NASA Keeps a Wary Eye on Space Weather
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    White House Executive Order:

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    Executive Order –– Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events
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