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back to article Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow today!

Astroboffins are warning that a mighty "eruption" of superhot plasma has been blasted out of the Sun directly at the Earth. The plasma cloud is expected to reach Earth beginning tomorrow today, possibly causing strange phenomena - including a mighty geomagnetic storm which could see the Northern Lights aurorae extend as far …

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When tomorrow?

Is there a time estimate? I'm assuming it would be either early morning or late evening, but I don't fancy waking up at 4AM if it's not going to happen till 10PM...

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Re: (untitled)

They say they won't know what time it's going to happen until an hour beforehand. They have to wait for the blast to pass the satellite that's sitting between the Earth and the Sun.

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Re: (untitled)

They say they won't know until an hour beforehand.

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Wheres the best place to look...

...to get our 1 hour warning of the end of the world?

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Coat

Earth's magnetic field.

What does this switch do..

"Earth's Magnetic Field Offline"

- Tinfoil hat and shades in the pocket.

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Paris Hilton

press the button

Putting a switch on a pedestal and marking it "DO NOT PRESS - WILL CAUSE END OF ALL LIFE ON PLANET"

Guarantee you will get someone going "oh .. what does this do?"

{Paris -- because she'd probably push it for the publicity}

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Paris Hilton

Sweet sun showers

Fire washes the skin off the bone and the sin off the soul. It cleans away the dirt.

And my momma didn't raise herself no dirty boy.

Um.. maybe I've been playing too much.

(Paris because she's dirty)

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Don't panic

It caused the phrase "please do not push this button again" to light up black in black letters on a black background.

Mines the one with the large pocket with the guidebook with the words "Don't Panic" in large, friendly letters on the front.

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Boffins?

For a techy publication you really should try to rise above Daily Mail standards once in a while, you know.

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Speaking as a boffin

...albeit a chemistry related one, I have no problem with the term.

It's pretty old fashioned.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Boffins?

We always say 'boffins'. When has the Mail ever said 'boffins'? What's it to yer?

It always amuses me when commentards shake their heads sadly and say they expected so much more of us. Why? Surely you should know us by now. Don't try to change us, baby.

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WTF?

You must be new here?

perhaps.

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Pint

Boffins? Hell...

...I learned the word here.

And another for Ms. Bee, please.

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Go

RE: Re: Boffins?

oh sarah...

*shakes head sadly*

i expected so much mo...

bah who am i kidding :p

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Headmaster

dunno about the mail...

but the sun once charaterised the late lamented Dr Kelly - killed by MI5 as " Tragic Boffin, Dr Kelly"

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Coat

Ouch!

"a huge solar pimple so large as to be visible without the aid of a telescope."

Well, I tried to look, but couldn't see anything that looked like a pimple. So I used my binoculars. Now I can't see anything at all. Bloody great bit of advice, that.

Mine's the one with the Braille keyboard in the pocket....

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he he he

lol

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Boffin

should have used a telescope...

"do not look into sun with remaining eye"

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Happy

LOL

I don't normally put out such useless replies - but LOL :P

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Cool.

Note to self: 'Solar flares' is a valid excuse for any software bugs discovered tomorrow.

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Flame

title required

Hey Microsoft....one of your updates has left my PC with a BSOD...

Hey, random pc user, that isn't our fault, didn't you know that the sun has just blown up...it's the sun's fault!

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Pint

It's been a while

I'm pretty sure that 'solar flares' was one of the first entries mentioned in the very early documentaries of the BOFH's Rolodex of excuses.

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Flame

Sure was, I read it again last week!

See here: http://bofh.ntk.net/BOFH/0000/bastard06.php

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Boffin

BOFH

This means I can actually use that Excuse Calendar entry tomorrow!

Good thing, I was running out of credible excuses...

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Phew

Normally a blast of radiation like this could be expected to wipe out much of the human race, but fortunately we are protected by the Earth's magnetic field.

Ah lucky then we completed that magnetic field last week... who says the current gov doesnt know what they are doing.

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Normally

Quite -- an interesting use of the word "normally" which I wasn't previously aware of.

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Happy

Glad I'm not the only one who thought that statement a bit odd...

Not glad I'm the last one to comment on it though :P

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Gav
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Headmaster

Normality be damned!

You are too generous, sir. I was rather fed up with the human race getting wiped out every time this happened, and it's well past time the government did something about it.

Why, I have letters written by my grandfather to The Times over 70 years ago on this very matter, and it's taken until now to remedy the matter? It doesn't bear thinking about the number of times life on Earth has been eradicated, whilst the fat cats in government have been sitting on their fat behinds doing nothing. For shame!

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Joke

Whatever you do dont watch it!

.. Or you will go blind and then a bunch of plants will eat you!

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neb
Alien

plants, meh!

this'll end up being start of world war Z once that there solanum causes the dead to rise

i'm off home to sharpen my machete and make sure my 'bug out bag' is fully packed,

then chuck some diesel in the car and drive off to castel caerfilthy

oh and cwtch the kids before we're all eaten alive

fucking zombies!

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Alert

might not be zombies, could be triffids

I for one will not be looking at the sky

Bill Mason

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Quick

Quick! Everybody to the Isle of Wight. Actually... I'm not sure what's worse - being rendered blind and then eaten by sentient plants, or having to live on the Isle of Wight for the rest of your life....

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Anonymous Coward

they already are...

its Cowes week.

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Attack of the...

Time to lock a sighted person in the nearest basement and keep some handcuffs close to hand just in case...

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Anonymous Coward

cool

tin foil hats on though methinks

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Must be a very good aim...

...to hit us from that distance away.

Just hope their calculations are correct it will be deflected by the magnetic poles. Aren't they due to go funny and invert soon?

Factor 50000 sunblock anyone?

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Boffin

Please tell me you haven't been watching 'The Core'

Where to start with what's wrong in that film, from a technical and/or scientific point of view.

The geomagnetic field has been known to periodically invert itself; the record of this in the orientation of magnetic fields in igneous rocks provided evidence for plate tectonics. It is thought to be a fairly slow process (taking perhaps thousands of years), the lack of mass extinctions corresponding to magetic field inversions would seem to suggest that it isn't ever actually zero at all over this time. More likely, it changes direction, or becomes chaotic beofre stabilising again with the opposite orientation.

Note also, that the sun itself flips its magnetic field much more often, giving rise to the approximately 13 year solar cycle; this leads to the 'termination shock' where the sun's magnetic field meets the interstellar magnetic field at a distance varying somewhat between around 75 to 90 AU. This is known as the heliopause, is analogous the the Earth's magnetopause and protects the solar system to a certain extent from cosmic radiation in the same way as the manetopause protects us from solar radiation. Therefore, in the event of an inversion of the Earth's magnetic field, we would expect the magnetic bubble around the Earth to shrink somewhat but to carry on protecting us.

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Inversion currently under way

At least, that's the opinion of quite a few geomagneticians (if there isn't such a word, there is now!) Certainly the magnetic poles are wandering rather drunkenly around the polar regions, which may or may not be typical behaviour.

But, as LC points out, nothing to lie awake at night worrying about. BTW the solar cycle is just under 11 years - 21 years if you allow for the need to go from N/S to S/N orientation and then back again. But, as the latest cycle demonstrates, it's not quite as regular as it might be.

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The Core is a fun film

The keys to watching The Core are 1) alcohol 2) not taking

it seriously and 3) predicting what will obviously happen.

Yes, it's completely unscientific and predictable, but thats

the point. It's very clear from watching it that the writers

know that it's completely un-scientific and decided to ham

it up to annoy pedants anyway.

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Hmmmm

"Certainly the magnetic poles are wandering rather drunkenly around the polar regions, which may or may not be typical behaviour."

Are we sure that this isn't something to do with human activity? Too many Hummers in the Northern Hemisphere perhaps?

Come to think of it, maybe there is a research grant or two on offer. People have a right to know!

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Joke

I want a research grant..

..to study 'polar squirming'.

I haven't worked out what the cause is yet - it may depend on who offers me the best grant.

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i saw the borthern lights once in the UK

it was about twenty years ago and was spectacular. i'll be looking out for this tomorrow!

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Oooh pretty

Were you, by any chance, just north of Aberystwyth at the time?

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ditto

but (@lawndart) in the midlands. Wouildn't call it spectacular as such. More odd. Started as a glowing cloud low on the horizon which slowly spread to be a soft glowing cloud-ribbon all round and just above the horizon. Later streaks from this developed up towards the centre of the sky above where a sharp-edged 'break' shape developed.

No fast movement, took hours, all very slow, no particular colours, just glows, clouds, streaks. It was confirmed next day on the news as an aurora.

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Heart

#i saw the Northern lights once in the UK

Me too,

Driving north up the new M24 about 30 miles past the border, circa 1990ish. About the middle of June at about 3ish in the morning. Huge, amazing, colossal green curtains in the sky, shimmering and flickering. Utterly awesome. I dug my ex-wife, who was asleep in the passenger seat, in the ribs, and mentioned the fact.

"Oooh, what's that?". Bloody network specialists!!

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Me too!

I also saw them around 20 years ago, somewhere between '88 and '90 at a guess. Down south, in Hampshire. Probably around 9-10pm and it was dark so not in the summer. Big curtains and rays of purest green. Very impressive. Have been planning to make a trip somewhere likely to see them again, but am now hoping if I procrastinate long enough they'll come to me instead!

Steve.

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Bonus points

Bonus points for spotting the Blackadder reference in SteveK's post.

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Boffin

Alchemy

for a nugget of purest green.

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