back to article 'Extreme' solar storm speeding straight towards Earth

On Thursday at 5:53pm in London – 12:53pm in New York – the sun let loose with a hefty solar flare, resulting in a coronal mass ejection (CME) headed straight towards Earth that will likely arrive on Saturday at 10:20 UT, give or take about seven hours. The flare was big, though not ginormous. As reported by SpaceWeather.com, …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We're all doomed!"

    Sounds like a good time to set up a stall in Camden Market selling magic crystals and hemp-based trinkets to help strengthen your amber aura and ward off the negative effects of the solar flare, such as bad luck and downturns in your love life, and amplify the positive solar energies that maintain a healthy well being, protect you from the evil eye and prevent tooth cavities.

    If all goes to plan, I'll have retired to Malibu by Sunday.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

      Well, when we didn't know about this phenomenon it must still have been happening from the days to early man to the present and we are still here.

      Now scientists have discovered it Doom Sayers come out of the woodwork and keep telling us WATCH OUT its on it's way and yet..... We are still here. Scientists tell us that it will disrupt stuff, yet aircraft are not cancelled, electrical systems are not wrapped in lead to protect them. In fact we just carry on as normal.

      Methinks it is a way for a certain section of the scientific community to justify there existence and pay packets. I would be more worried about the stray meteor we haven't detected yet that a bit of solar wind from the sun.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

        not too many IT and telecoms systems to go down through earlier history though.

        1. LarsG
          Headmaster

          Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

          Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

          not too many IT and telecoms systems to go down through earlier history though.

          Yes but not being able to access you email for an hour or accessing your Facebook page is neither here or there. We survived without computers and IT for thousands of years.

          Now we have it, it has made us soft.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

            Yes but not being able to access you email for an hour or accessing your Facebook page is neither here or there. We survived without computers and IT for thousands of years.

            Yes and then we started to rely on computers and IT. Which only serves to make us more vulnerable, given that almost everything we do is supported by IT now. None of us would be able to access our bank accounts if everything went down (probability: Stupidly low).

            The point is, the CME itself doesn't pose us much risk, but the interaction with stuff we rely on might. I'm inclined more towards sitting and waiting to see what happens though to be honest, certainly not expecting a doomsday event to actually happen!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "We survived without computers for thousands of years"

            And anaesthetic!

            No! No Novocain. It dulls the senses.

          3. heyrick Silver badge

            Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

            "We survived without computers and IT for thousands of years."

            And for thousands of years we bred with our neighbours for we barely moved beyond the confines of a day's walk. We were overrun by those who took the initiative to conquer, be it Romans or Vikings or Emogoths or WhatTheHell. Their conquering was usually quite effective as getting notice around could sometimes take longer than the battle itself.

            Oh, and we'd be lucky to reach our 40s, many would die as babies, hygiene was appalling, food was terrible, and unless you came from an important family you were probably somebody else's bitch, where it was a lord, a bishop, some rich fart, or the latest in a series of invasions.

            Really, we have it easy these days. It's more than just computers and IT, it is everything all together. Crack open a history book and see what a cesspit the Middle Ages were. You want us to go back to that if our complicated electronic infrastructure gets fried? Believe me, if society breaks down, it want be a reversion to some hippy-happy-huggy farming way of life nicked from the Amish, It'll be like Mad Max, only worse.

            1. Marty

              Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

              "Believe me, if society breaks down, it want be a reversion to some hippy-happy-huggy farming way of life nicked from the Amish, It'll be like Mad Max, only worse."

              I think I better start stockpiling fuel, get a collection of leather jackets, pants and feathers together..... And somebody do something about Tina Turner before it gets to out of hand !!

      2. Amonynous
        Boffin

        Re: "We're all doomed!" but...........

        "Scientists tell us that it will disrupt stuff, yet aircraft are not cancelled, electrical systems are not wrapped in lead to protect them. In fact we just carry on as normal."

        Aircraft are re-routed in northern latitudes in response to solar activity:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2091586/Solar-radiation-storm-Flights-diverted-Earths-atmosphere-pummeled.html

        (I picked the Daily Fail as the example as I your post suggests that you are a good fit for its readership demographic).

        Satellites can be seriously affected by solar flares, and operators do put them in to different operating modes when there is a significant risk of damage. List of effects of the 2003 flare here:

        http://sat-nd.com/failures/index.html?http://sat-nd.com/failures/timeline.html

        Electrical grids are also affected by geomagnetic storms induced by solar flares. Again grid operators do take precautions to minimise disruption and damage, though most of the large grids were designed long before the risks were known about, and it would take massive investment to re-engineer them to be completely resilient:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1989_geomagnetic_storm

        Are you auditioning for the part of the granny in that atrocious BT ad from many years ago? You know, the one where she has a bad phone line, it cuts to an army of engineers laying new cables and generally upgrading stuff, then next day she says "It just got better overnight all by itself".*

        * Bad example I know, since many of us are still using the wet string installed decades ago.

      3. Antoine Dubuc
        Trollface

        Dismissing the doomsayers...

        They do have their day once in a while you know...

        -the Dinosaurs

      4. Blitterbug
        Unhappy

        Re: Methinks it is a way for a certain section of the scientific community ...

        OMG - Srsly? And you read tech news sites? I'ma gonna lie down now, blood pressure hurts.

    2. Dazed and Confused
      Joke

      Re: "We're all doomed!"

      Do they allow flares in Camden this week?

      I think you're probably safe.

      If the sun let loose a massive case of nappy pants or what ever it is the yoof of today wear you'd probably be in more trouble.

    3. Adrian Jones

      Re: "We're all doomed!"

      Are there any stalls in Camden Market that aren't selling magic crystals and hemp-based trinkets?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are there any other stalls...

        "Are there any stalls in Camden Market that aren't selling magic crystals and hemp-based trinkets?"

        Yes, the ones selling 'genuine' Dr Martins for £5 more than a pair of Dr Martens from a shop...

    4. Steve Evans

      Re: "We're all doomed!"

      I thought flares were pretty normal in Camden?

    5. Michael Dunn

      Re: "We're all doomed!"

      Presumaby your "hemp based trinkets" include a bong!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Danger to people?

    I have very little knowledge of this kind of stuff but I do know my family is flying trans-atlantic at that point.

    Is there any risk to people flying at 40,000ft due to things like this? What about the International Space Station?

    1. Goat Jam
      Joke

      Re: Danger to people?

      I wouldn't be too concerned.

      At 40,000 feet there is very little danger of hitting the International Space Station unless they happen to be on one of their infrequent trips down into the atmosphere to replenish their air supply.

      1. Andy J Poulton
        Thumb Up

        Re: Danger to people?

        You sir, owe me a new keyboard. Laugh out-loud in the most literal sense - literally

    2. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Danger to people?

      No, there's no danger at all. The planet's magnetosphere deflects most of the CME around the planet. Even the ISS is still inside that protective barrier so at most they'll see a slight increase in solar radiation.

      Those of us on the ground or at the relatively piddling height of 40,000 feet won't see any difference at all, unless you happen to look up and see the pretty colours as the atmosphere gets all excited about it.

      1. DJ 2
        Joke

        Re: Danger to people?

        With any flight, you are exposed to more radiation than you are at ground level.. just this time it comes with pretty lights.

        1. perlcat
          Trollface

          Re: Danger to people?

          You're ruining the fun. I was going to suggest looking for a radioactive spider on the flight.

  3. pixl97
    Mushroom

    X28 missed us mostly

    The X28 Flare could have been a serious event but it was mostly facing away from earth. It is thought a large flare is most dangerous when it is a series of flares. The first earth directed flare opens a magnetic or plasma channel to earth which allows the second major flare to reach earth far more quickly then without a preceding event. All it should take is reading about the Carrington Event to get a person slightly worried that our modern society could have some issues.

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/hotshots/2003_11_04/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: X28 missed us mostly

      You're absolutely right. The x28 was not pointed at us. And everyone thinking this is superstitious paranoia needs to do some research on the matter other than the poor science written in this article. In 1859, a solar flare hit the earth and wiped out the telegraph system across the atlantic. Apparently it was so strong that the transmission lines caught on fire and operators were electrocuted. Now imagine that sort of electrical damage in a world where you can't even put food on the table without an entire nations electrical infrastructure to provide it for you. This may not kill you directly, but when there's no food or fuel production, we're all in deep donkey dung.

      1. Joe Gurman

        Re: X28 missed us mostly

        No one was "electrocuted" by the "Carrington event," though telegraph operators could feel their apparatus getting warmer. In similar instances even earlier in the history of the telegraph, operators were able to disconnect their batteries and continue communicating because of the geomagnetically induced currents from space weather events.

        The first (1858) transatlantic telegraph cable was destroyed when its operators applied too high a voltage across it in an attempt to speed transmissions, three weeks after the cable was first used. No space weather involved. The next transatlantic cable wasn't successfully laid until 1866, so once again, no space weather effects om a transatlantic cable in 1859.

        And please get your science straight (advice to the Reg, too): the only effects solar flares have on the earth is ionizing radiation (EUV and X-ray) changing the ionization in the upper layers of the atmosphere. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and electrically charged, energetic particles cause the serious effects (geomagnetically induced currents, energetic particle buildup between the normal Van Allen belt altitudes that can damage geosynchronous spacecraft, &c.) as well as the pretty ones (aurorae). There are lots of flares, even some X flares, without CMEs, though almost every fast CME capable of palpable effects at the earth is associated with a bright flare.

    2. Qugoo
      Unhappy

      Re: X28 missed us mostly

      A series of flares from space? Last time that happened Jeff Wayne and the Martians invaded didn't they?

      1. breakfast
        Mushroom

        Re: X28 missed us mostly

        They say the chances are a million to one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: X28 missed us mostly

          But one in a million chances happen nine times out of ten...

        2. Benchops
          Big Brother

          Re: X28 missed us mostly

          > They say the chances are a million to one.

          Ogilvy, the astronomer, says that.

        3. illiad

          Re: the chances are a million to one, they say...

          but still, they come..... {guitar riff} :) :)

  4. Andrew Jones 2
    Angel

    Spent ages trying to figure out why I couldn't find this X28 flare you list as 11th April 2003.... finally realised that El Reg has got the day and month the wrong way around - despite the fact it says day/month/year on the site they took the information from...... here is the data from the 4th November 2003 :) http://www.n3kl.org/sun/noaa_archive/2003/Nov_4/

    1. Mikey
      Coat

      Nope, still can't find this X28 flare, even If I reverse the day and month like you said... you SURE it's on the 2003th April, year 11?

    2. micheal

      Oh to be

      Intelligent like the americans and hide the day between the month and year, such a logical language.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UT?

    'will likely arrive on Saturday at 10:20 UT'

    UT? Is that anything like GMT?

    1. LarsG
      Trollface

      Re: UT?

      I'll be shopping at Tesco, hope the tills don't go down because the queues will be impossible.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Meh

        Unexpected item in bagging area

        But would you notice the different if you used self-service tills?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UT?

        Actually if the tills do go down in Tesco then the queues will be the smallest ever.

        Instead of adding it all up, they simply ask you what you think your trolley is worth, and as long as you're not clearly wide of the mark then that's what they ask you to pay (i.e. you can't stick a plasma TV in the trolley along with your veggies and claim the whole lot is tenner)

        1. John70

          Re: UT?

          When there was a power cut at the local Asda a few years ago, they searched your trolly for hidden alcohol, then estimate what the trolly is worth... Was £20 for £60+ of shopping.

    2. Amonynous

      Re: UT?

      Sort of, but not quite:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Time

      1. OrsonX

        wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Time

        Very interesting....

        ....but exactly what time GMT should I put my tin-foil hat on?

  6. Wize

    A pulse that disturbed radio comunication?

    That's O2's excuse wrapped up...

  7. Chris Miller

    "we're talking to you, Thule"

    Errr, isn't it daylight for 24 hrs at the moment?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "we're talking to you, Thule"

      somewhat longer than 24 hours

  8. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Aurora alerts always coincide with heavy clouds

    Sadly.

    I would have liked to have seen some of the fireworks on the sun in my little H-alpha scope when the flare went off, but alas, cloudy again.

  9. mark 63 Silver badge

    On Thursday at 5:53pm in London – 12:53pm in New York – the sun let loose with a hefty solar flare

    what was th sun doing in london? busking?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Coat

      What was the sun doing in London?

      Using a phone box to dial into celebrity voicemail accounts........

  10. hamcheeseandonion
    Coat

    Stay tuned!

    How do we do that if the Assault From The Sun blacks out our radio-based telecomms?

    Semaphor?

    (The one with the cute little flags in the pocket, please?...Thank you)

  11. Lallabalalla
    WTF?

    Why does it take so long to get here?

    I thought the sun was a mere 8 minutes away (at the speed of light, obvs)

    1. Brian Morrison
      Boffin

      Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

      Because the CME is not made up from particles that travel at the speed of light, it's a lot of protons essentially. These are a lot slower than light speed, hence the much longer transit time.

    2. PaulR79
      Coat

      Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

      Like most villains* it likes to take its time, giving you ample time to prepare for its nefarious schemes.

      *I'm a ginger, it burns me all the time so it's a villain to me, ok?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge
        Coat

        Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

        But if that were true, surely if we just tune to the right frequency we'd be able to hear its gleeful and minutely detailed monologue on all the damage its going to cause?

        You can't be a villain and set up certain-doom-at-exactly-this-time without also delivering a monologue. It just wouldn't be cricket.

        Also: No countdown-to-death clock, no self-destruct button and hanging around in the sky all obvious-like rather than skulking under a dormant volcano on a island somewhere? Very poor. I'll bet it hasn't even got one frikkin' laser beam to its name either.

        1. fandom Silver badge

          Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

          "You can't be a villain and set up certain-doom-at-exactly-this-time without also delivering a monologue."

          I guess you missed the articles a couple of days ago about the Northen lights making noise:

          http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/10/noisy_northern_lights/

          That's just Sol's equivalent of the mad BHHAWWW

        2. Mike Flugennock

          Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

          ...You can't be a villain and set up certain-doom-at-exactly-this-time without also delivering a monologue. It just wouldn't be cricket.

          Also: No countdown-to-death clock, no self-destruct button and hanging around in the sky all obvious-like rather than skulking under a dormant volcano on a island somewhere? Very poor. I'll bet it hasn't even got one frikkin' laser beam to its name either.

          Hell, from what I can see, it doesn't even have a cat. What the hell kind of villian doesn't have a big white Persian in his lap? (OK, the gang of super-villains in Our Man Flint didn't have a cat, but, still...)

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

      Because a proton is not a photon.

    4. Joe Gurman

      Re: Why does it take so long to get here?

      The flare's light (visible, UV, X-rays, radio frequency) does in deed get here in 8 minutes.

      The article conflates flares (a relatively common event during the years of maximum solar activity) with coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are considerably less frequent, perhaps two a day at the peak of solar activity. The CME is a plasma and magnetic field blob that is traveling through a plasma, the solar wind, and even if it starts out really fast, is slowed by interacting with the wind. The fastest CMEs can get to earth in just under a day; most take two to three days to get here.

  12. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    This is all we need.

    First the rain. And now we're going to have machines coming to life and AC/DC falling off a bridge and toasters eating people. It's the end of the world all right.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: This is all we need.

      ...cat and dogs, living together...

      1. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: This is all we need.

        Mass hysteria!

    2. Darryl

      Re: This is all we need.

      AC/DC falling off a bridge

      Does that mean we're on the Highway to Hell?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: This is all we need.

        I just hope the triffids don't escape.

  13. Big_Boomer Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Power!

    Telecomms will be an issue when the "big one" hits, but most affected will be our power grids.

    Even assuming that they are protected from the MAHOOSIVE surges it will take time to reset the trips and get the juice flowing again.

    Governments are spending a lot of money on solar weather observation, analysis and forecasting because unlike asteroids, and "global warming" these are a direct and potentially immediate threat to our modern civilisation. 150 years ago a mahoosive solar storm would have lead to increased church attendance and some pretty lights in the sky. These days you are looking at possibly millions of people dying and short term economic disaster.

    1. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Power!

      " unlike asteroids, and "global warming" "

      The recent extreme weather in the UK and in the US is thought quite likely to be at least partly due to climate change - and look, it is possible to type phrase that without using scare quotes!

      As for asteroids, Tunguska is more recent than Carrington.

      1. Big_Boomer Bronze badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Power!

        They are not scare quotes, they are irony quotes.

        Irony because they are oft quoted as the big scary threats to mankind. <LOL>

        How many humans have asteroids killed?

        How many humans has global warming killed?

        How many people will die if you shut off electrical power for half of the planet for a period of a few days?

        No power = no water, no heating, no air-con, no stores open, looting, rioting, and chaos.

        Tunguska killed nobody. It flattened trees and they still are not certain what caused it.

        As for the recent extreme weather, it may be extreme in terms of our recent records, but is it extreme compared to the Maunder Minimum, or the last Ice Age?

        1. Christoph Silver badge

          Re: Power!

          Storms and droughts have killed quite a few people. Massive crop failures will kill a lot more. Forced migration when the land can no longer support people, and the resultant wars, will kill huge numbers. Collapse of societies that depend on high tech farming to feed the current population will be very unpleasant indeed.

          Carrington hit before extensive power systems, Tunguska hit an unpopulated wilderness. Carrington now would kill big numbers. Tunguska on a city would kill big numbers.

    2. AdamWill

      Re: Power!

      Why do you think 'mahoosive' is a word?

  14. Richard Wharram
    Mushroom

    Radiashun \o/

    Could this create some new superhero team perhaps?

    I, for one, am getting bored of the same superheroes getting rebooted every five years in the cinema. We need a big blast of cosmic rays to create some new ones. Here's hoping the guys on the ISS take a good dose \o/

    1. Tel Starr
      Flame

      Re: Radiashun \o/

      PANTSMAN!

      Wearing just a pair of 50" rim solar flares, Pantsman seeks to eradicate the world of skinnie jeans, trackies, and muffin tops!

  15. Mike Richards

    We're fine

    At the first sight of trouble, the Home Secretary has ordered O2 to send a text message composed by G4S that will allow all RBS customers to withdraw emergency beer money.

    Literally nothing can go wrong.

  16. Purlieu

    Ahh

    We went up to the ISS, but all the astronauts had disappered, apart from Carroon. We brought him back to Earth and he's in a hospital bed in the next room. Do you want to speak to him Dr. Quatermass ?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Come, friendly CME

    I think we need all the protons we can get, especially after those boffins in CERN have been bosonizing innocent Swiss hadrons.

  18. Sceptic Tank
    Headmaster

    Protons

    Protons, huh? Lucky thing too. If that CME had to come by Ford (like I do) it would probably have had difficulty getting away in the first place.

    <== I'll throw up if I ever make the mistake of buying American again.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Protons

      I thought Protons got turned into BBC micros?

  19. JeffyPooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Aurora?

    Then it'll be clouded over here. It always happens.

  20. Dennis Wilson

    Power loss

    I wonder how many televisions, lifts, and vibrators will stop working when this one hits.

  21. MrT
    Alert

    "Millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced."

    Ah, that'll be the day we realised we had just got a coalition government... didn't know that LibDem voters all used O2 though.

  22. Anonymous John

    Now where's my tinfoil hat?

  23. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Power!

    If a Carrington Event hit us now there'd be a lot of problems.

    The really big transformers used in the cores of the US and EU power grids are likely to be wiped out. There are at least 100 of them, they take 2 years to build and there are only about a dozen spares worldwide.

    And then there's the actual CME to deal with. The damage listed above comes from the xray burst.

  24. Neil 38

    Finally, O2 have managed to deliver something EARLIER than promised.

  25. AndrewH
    Mushroom

    Chernobyl... Fukushima... and now this...

    When will they learn that nuclear poses too much of a hazard?! The sooner we can replace the sun with a renewable energy source, the better.

  26. regadpellagru
    Joke

    Protons vs. protons

    Just wondering if the folks at CERN wouldn't be able to deviate the 2 LHC beams and shoot a couple of bursts of protons to this, for good measure.

    Hey, could even be helpfull to find the Higgs boson !

  27. vmistery
    WTF?

    Don't believe them! Its the Triffids! Or possibly I have been watching too much TV?You decide!

  28. CraigW

    Weather

    Well at least this summer might heat up a bit at last.

    1. Andrew_b65
      Thumb Up

      Re: Weather

      Maybe it'll give the Jetsteam a kick up the ass and send it packing up to Greenland where it belongs so we can at least have a few weeks of summer instead of this incessant rain? It's even driving my cats nuts. And they look at me like I'm the one causing the rain.

      1. MrT
        Coat

        Re: driving my cats nuts

        Man with a car steering wheel sticking out of his trouser zip walks into a doctor's surgery.

        " Doctor, can you do something about this - it's driving me nuts..."

        Play me off, Johnny....

      2. Andrew_b65

        Re: Weather

        Yup, right on cue the weather guys are now saying that the jetstream has finally stopped howling over the UK and is moving north allowing the Azores high to expand and let us in on a bit of that southern European summer weather at last.

        If I recall correctly, the last mega CME was back in March before which we were all expecting a great summer with temperatures already being unseasonably high. Things turned noticeably wetter and cooler following the last 'event'. Perhaps there is something in it?

  29. MooseNC
    FAIL

    Aurora?

    You can't see the aurora during the summer up north...

    1. MacroRodent Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Aurora?

      On the other hand, people in the high (or low?) latitudes of the southern hemisphere, like at Cape Town, should be able to see the fireworks.

  30. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    No wonder my car radio was misbehaving yesterday.

    Sluggardly CME. A day and a half to cross the Earth-Sun distance? In my day it'd have been all over and done with in minutes. And it would have been worth turning out for. Get in car. Twiddle knobs trying to find usual station in unusual static. Explode in cloud of incandescent vapor all over the driveway. Job done.

    Today's charged particles. Tch!

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Target

    mmmmm.... seems like EVERY solar flare recently is "coming right at us" is that just unlucky or is Sol deliberately targetting us?

  32. davidp231
    Facepalm

    Solar flare comments

    And not one BoFH Excuse Calendar reference?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boffinry

    Flares went out in the late 70s, along with bushy sideburns, platform boots, long hair and the porn-tache. Calling them "CMEs" ain't gonna bring them back.

  34. Mike Flugennock
    Mushroom

    I'm surprised the Drudge Report...

    ...hasn't ripped out its entire page and replaced it with that dumb-assed animated spinning police light .gif with a monstrous headline reading ZOMG IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!!!!11!!!1!!!11!!!!1 as it does every time an asteroid passes within so much as a million miles of Earth.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: I'm surprised the Drudge Report...

      Kill it with Coronal Mass Ejections!

  35. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Crazy Good v Mad Bad ........ Ultimate Battle Groups at the XSSXXXXPeditionary Front

    Thanks for that confirmation, El Regers ..... there's more crazies outside and free than are inside and detained. :-) And some/many/most of them are far too clever to ever be stupid enough to be badly programmmed with mindless nonsense/celebrity drivel/political piffle.

    Interesting days ahead for Intelligence Communities ...... with myriad enterprising opportunities to exploit with secure protection against vulnerabilities in Operating System Fails ..... Virtual Machine Crashes.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course now this one has cleared the way

    If another X-class (say X-33 just to make things interesting) explodes shortly from AR1520 then we could be in for a possible S-5 event.

    Contrary to popular belief fibre-optics are vulnerable to solar flares, thanks to the amplifiers used needing electrical power.

    AC/DC

  37. Snar

    So if the sun is so active, why is it always sodding raining (joke!)

    Solar activity has really had a big impact on HF comms over the last week - NVIS (Near Vertical Incident Skywave) used for National HF comms has really taken a beating....

  38. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    So far so good... So far so good...

    <click> Brrrrrrrrrr

  39. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Well, another sodding astronomical anti climax for the uk.....

  40. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Well, wadaya no, we're all still here.

  41. DEAD4EVER
    Meh

    omg could it be the end

    OK not so much on Saturday but more the 21st of December 2012 could this be a sign the world will end either the sun exploding sending a massive fire on earth wiping out everything and everyone or is it just sending flares because its get ten to hot or is it just normal sending flares off the sun. the thing is no one knows because you don't know what the future contains eh none of us do, i mean us man earth could end at anytime and there wouldn't be anything we could do about it. some are saying the earth will fall into a black hole others say the sun will do something to end us others are saying zombies really seriously.

  42. CraigW

    4pm

    Well, if it had been dark at around 4pm yesterday (sunday) we might have seen it. As it was, nada.

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