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back to article Sun belches wonking solar flare

Sol is having a bit of fusion indigestion again and has belched forth one of the largest solar flares to come hurtling towards Earth in the past five years, according to NASA. NASA said in a statement that the solar flare on March 6 at 7 PM Eastern time weighed in at X5.4 on the solar flare scale. The flare came from an area …

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Anonymous Coward

i sometimes wonder

If this is all a super scary story so that the boffins can get extra funding?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i sometimes wonder

You seem to be lost. The Daily Mail site is second on the right.

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FAIL

Re: i sometimes wonder

Yeah, look at all those over-paid scientists wearing bling and driving pimped-up mercs. Seriously, if you were money-grubbing, the last job you'd go for would be as a scientist. Most are poorly paid, work long hours and have to deal with conspiracy nuts and ill-educated morons like you.

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Boffin

Re: i sometimes wonder

Re-read last paragraph.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i sometimes wonder

Of course we all know that peer review isn't perfect, but do you _really_ think the scientists reviewing grant applications are likely to be impressed by lashings of "omg we're all going to die!" rhetoric in the case for support?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i sometimes wonder

Different AC here. Prior AC is correct, the story has been, what's the term you Brits seem to like... oh yeah, 'sexed up' to generate more money for the groups that are involved in this sort of monitoring. As part of my tech support job, I come into contact with some of the folks who run these things, and they aren't the types to engage in the sort of end of the worldisms that every article I've seen about this have invoked.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i sometimes wonder

The articles aren't targeting the scientists who approve grants, because scientists are rarely involved at the levels that matter. They're targeting easily led buffoons who will cry to their even more easily led buffoon pols to pump more money into the programs.

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Woohoo

That means I can use my favourite excuse when someone asks me why they're having network issues!

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Go

Re: Woohoo

Ohh yeah? And then toddle off to that funny shed down the back with the overgrown "TV antenna" on top while you pretend to "fix" it?

Catch you on 15m. :-)

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TRT
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Meh

Re: Woohoo

Meh. Flares are so 70s.

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Coat

Re: Woohoo

Flares are coming back, man; I read it in my horoscope!

Mine's the one with The Young Ones VHS tapes

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Mushroom

Re: Woohoo

Damn excuses, you Fix my internets now!

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Just lob a bloody big Gaviscon at it...

...works for me, so worth a try?

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Re: Just lob a bloody big Gaviscon at it...

Only if you can find ten billion firefighter jelly-babies to squirt their sticky fluid down its tubes.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Just lob a bloody big Gaviscon at it...

squirt their sticky fluid down its tubes.

You wrote that and didn't use an icon???????

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Any chance of times in GMT?

A little lazy of me to ask as a UK dweller, I suppose, but between recalling how far behind eastern time is and working out what you mean by "today" (I'm reading this tomorrow) things get a bit confusing in articles like this.

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Re: Any chance of times in GMT?

Agreed, i mean it's not like there is a ".co.uk" at the end of the URL..

C'mon reg. There's more than one time zone and, in case you had forgotten, GMT is the daddy!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Any chance of times in GMT?

I used to enjoy this site

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Coat

Re: Any chance of times in GMT?

Perhaps if UK boffins published the information instead of our cousins across the pond, then the times would be in GMT. Why should hard working journalists have to translate times for us when they can just cut and paste the article and let all of us scratch our collective noggins to work out what the time is in real units.

OK, OK, I'm leaving, I know should bite the hand that feeds that bites the hand that feeds IT.

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Re: Any chance of times in GMT?

Well if the boffins across the pond were true scientists they would be quiting all times in UTC anyway...

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Re: Any chance of times in GMT?

I find Wolfram Alpha very handy in these circumstances: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=march+6th+7pm+eastern+time

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Re: Any chance of times in GMT?

Actually, yes, UTC makes more sense. My point being more everyone who cares about this stuff ought to know their GMT offset but not everyone deals with Eastern time. I wasn't asking for a UK bias so much as a more globaly aware time format.

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I just hope we get some clear skies

Maybe there will be some aurora activity.

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Thumb Up

Re: I just hope we get some clear skies

Thank you Micheal!

Daily Mail readers (and that BBC Horizon prog about it): ZOMG we're all going to die!

Reg readers: aurora time if we're lucky (though in my case it'd have to be a doozy of a storm to produce an aurora visible in the Midlands).

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Trollface

So BASICALLY

... we're all doomed!

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Far fetched explanation

Is this why my mobile keeps putting a big red SOS in place of the signal bars?

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Facepalm

Re: Far fetched explanation

No that's <insert carrier of choice>'s usual level of service.

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Coat

5,125-year Mayan Long Count calendar just hits reset on December 21, 2012.

Well that's probably an indication as to what happened to the Mayan civilisation then, their programmers only allocated 3 bytes for the year and the entire IT infrastructure collapsed after 999 years leading to a collapse of their civilisation.

Ok, Ok, I’m going…

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Devil

At least COBOL programmers can find a job now ...

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Not getting it.

It's the worst one in five years and they are talking about it taking out power grids, GPS, aircraft falling out of the sky and all the usual scaremongering BS. So presumably there was a worse one five years ago and I don't recall any of those things happening then. Can we assume therefore that they are exaggerating a tad?

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Holmes

The worst in five years...

Wasn't the solar minimum approximately 2.5 years ago?

Doesn't solar activity go up and down on an approximately 11 year cycle?

Just saying...

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@Grease Monkey

With any significant solar flare, there is ALWAYS a chance that some part of the power grid will go down. I don't actually have a problem with them mentioning that as it is better to be prepared and not need it, than unprepared and need it. What bothers me is that instead of reporting it as 5%, 1%, or 0.1%, the articles read like it is a 50% chance of mass blackouts across the [insert your locality here].

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Holmes

statistically significant?

Perhaps I'm missing something but

"one of the largest solar flares to come hurtling towards Earth in the past five years"

doesn't seem like a significant event to me. Five years is not a long period of time - surely the normal variation of solar flare size means that such a flare is to be expected. And this is just 'one of the largest' - not *the* largest, so it is presumably even less significant for that reason.

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Black Helicopters

Re: It's a clock, not a detonator.

Are you sure? You know some detonators include a clock in their overly complex mechanism.

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