Biggest Solar Flare In Years Headed For Earth

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The sun is making a comeback.

OK, so it never really went away, but after years of relative quiet on our nearest star, activity has picked up as of late, resulting in a solar flare that marks the strongest since 2006.

Bob Rutledge, lead forecaster with the National Space Weather Prediction Center, tells KFWB’s Michael Shappee these solar outbursts have the potential to wreak havoc with earthly communications.

After the initial blast of radiation accompanying the coronal mass ejection (CME) — the first of its magnitude to occur in the new solar cycle of activity — a huge cloud of charged particles is headed toward Earth and is expected likely to arrive on Feb. 17-18.

Among the many potential disasters that can come from a massive CME: disturbances in the planet’s geomagnetic field that may lead to malfunctioning telecom and GPS satellite equipment.

While forecasters predict no major impact on our telecommunications infrastructure, meteorological officials say the flare has disrupted radio communications in southern China.

Scientists have pointed out that activity on the sun is now ramping up ahead of an expected solar maximum around 2013.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • sean patriot


    • Stephen Strachan

      Actually, it either started on the 16th, or Verizon and Comcast both suck…naturally, of course.

      • melody baker

        global warming has no effect on the sun..:)

      • Marilyn

        I got your humor, IdsofMarch. Cute. ;-)

        Take away the sun and see how warm mankind makes the planet. Obviously, the issue is the effect on our electronics. As with the weather, this too runs in cycles.

      • hammerdown

        If one were to look as the hard facts all the Planets in OUR system are experiencing warming. So you are quite correct global warming or more accurately planetary warming certainly impacts the sum not even a little. However the sun certainly does effect planetary warming, especially when combined with the other astral phenomenon occurring in the last decade and the great increase in such in thew last year. It has been publicly reported that we should not be shocked to see two suns as early as this year. Also that we may indeed have as many as three days of sunshine with very little night. Not an opinion a guarantee .

      • Kenneth Diamond

        There is no GLOBAL WARMING either!!!!!!!

      • typical racist righty

        Or does the sun impact global warming?………hmmmmm deep thoughts.

      • Duh!

        Actually, the statement should be, “Al Gore cannot make money off making a global warming hoax of the sun.”

        The whole premise of Al Gore’s Global Warming Hoax was so that his company can make tons of money trading carbon credits. If they were really trying to limit CO2 in the atmosphere, they would be targeting volcanoes because man made CO2 is a drop in the ocean compared to the CO2 put into the air by a single volcano. But Al Gore can’t make money off of regulating CO2 emissions from a volcano.

    • DHHH

      Yes its much closer than you think.Tidal waves earthquakes volcanoes global storms…..

    • IdsofMarch

      Damn Global Warming….!

      • redleg50

        Just ask Al Gore, he invented the sun

      • Tony Lowery

        It’s just Al Gore’s way saying Mother Natures having HOT flashes….

    • melody baker

      this happens all the time maybe every 6 years i think….. dont worry about it :)

      • nellas

        did you really just mistake the comment “damn global warming” for meaning, global warming is causing the sun to flare up?

      • Albert MacMeda

        No, Global warming IS CAUSED BY THE SUN. Did you notice that, during the time of all the warming, we were having solar flares like crazy and, now that we’ve entered a period of global cooling, sunspots and flares have been mostly absent… until now.

      • Terry Knows Moore

        Not for over 100 years….was the last big one.

      • jonah

        No. Really massive coronal mass ejections only happen once in a century. Last time was in 1859, the Carrington event. We’re a bit overdue.

      • Hal McCombs

        No, really massive coronal discharges happen pretty much all the time. It’s just a rare coincidence when it is pointed at the Earth. It goes elsewhere 99.999999999% of the time.

      • Mosin Nagant

        Its actually about a 10 to 11 year cycle, , but the concern this time is that scientists project it may be an extremely active one, biggest in 50 to 100 years, perhaps as big as “The Carrington Event, aka the solar storm of 1859

    • Montana Mike

      I’m not so sure that global warming hasn’t caused this flare. While earth warmed from 1970-2001, the polar caps on Mars shrunk significantly. Those silly right wing extremist “deniers” claimed it was just the sun getting warmer, but maybe Al Gore is right that CO2 on earth has caused Mars to warm at the same time as earth. And if that’s possible, then maybe CO2 has caused this huge solar flare to come hit our planet too. After all, the science is settled that cave people building wood fires melted all of the glaciers ending the ice age 10,000 years ago.

      • Nostradominator

        Montana Mike I seriously hope you are joking, otherwise read a basic science book or take an Astronomy class!

      • ThinksThenFeels

        Nostril, Mike is being ironic like the others above him, and they all did a pretty good job of it. I, on the other hand, am completely serious when I assert the reason for this flare and the solar systemic temperature changes is that too much mercury remains in the Environment (homage to the Earth Mum) instead of being trapped in compact fluorescent bulbs. Thank God* the Americans are leading the charge by banning incandescents and the other horrors they rained down on the modern world!

        *he Earth Mum, of course… homage to Her

      • Ken

        I love your sarcasm. However, you should know that liberals aren’t capable or understanding sarcasm- or metaphors in the case of using the term “target.”

      • tiny dancer

        Montana Mike- You are just perpetuating my opinion of people that live in Montana with your comment about global warming causing the polar ice caps on Mars to melt and causing the solar flares on the sun. Really dude, you are funny…

    • Anna

      I am an artist who has had visions of this occurring for the last 5 years but these visions are turning in to reality is rather scary to say the lest. I am afraid that this is only the beginning of flares interrupting our communication status. Imagine the world with out an electrical source to do transactions of money, or oral communication across the land or even the world. we might have to put the wars on hold for a long while and we will have to deal with respecting and appreciating the earth in which we reside from with in the Universe. We might just have to come together and unite and actually communicate once again face to face with out any devise electronically. I must admit this would drastically change the way I live my life tremendously. How do you think it would affect yours?

      The clock of life is wound but once
      And No Man have not to turn back the
      Hands of the hands late or early Hour!
      For is the time to Live,Love and toil with this will!
      For you will never know when the becomes still !

      poem by: Omar Khayyám

      (died 1123), Persian poet, mathematician, and astronomer. His rubáiyát (quatrains), found in The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (translation published 1859), are meditations on the mysteries of existence and celebrations of worldly pleasures.

  • sean patriot


    • Albert MacMeda

      Is this the only way you can measure yourself? Being first (and second) on some comment thread on the internet? Nothing more significant to tell us about?

  • Otto

    Where is that lady from spain who says she owns the sun? Time for her to face the music.

    • Locke

      Brazil, actually. Otherwise I completely agree. I think somebody might be feeling a little /responsible/?

    • NotMyProphet

      Bah hahaha!

  • TurdMcGuillicuddy

    Damn you sean! 3rd!

  • wil

    So if we cover ourselves with sun screen we will be okay, right?

    • Rob

      Cover your electronic equipment with sun screen LOL

      • Rob

        It’s fun to poke fun at this solar flair but if we have one like the one that happened in 1859 it won’t be a laughing matter.

      • Scott Batten

        I suggest a Faraday cage, but then I understand solar physics.

      • Rob

        I don’t think Scott Batten knew i was being facetious about the sun screen. but I don’t think this event will call for a Faraday cage is necessary for this event

      • Flair Insprector

        Solar Flair is related to Ric Flair plus the flair or bling on your deny uniform

        more fliar

        Flair INSpector

      • Duh!

        Whose house gets the popcorn?

        (it’s not funny if I have to explain it to the real geniuses)

    • bear

      And spread some on the satellites and cell phone towers.

    • skeptic17

      And tinfoil….

  • Gurd McTillicuddy

    Actually, you were 4th.

    • Durfler

      Better yet…

      Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, and hide yo wi-fi cause they zappin’ everybody out here!

      • Robert Frost


      • Lazy hot tub

        Take yo kids to a sitter and bring yo wife to my basement. I gots me a hot tub and I’ll treat her real good. Does she like big men.

      • Jen Jen from the QC

        Lazy hot tub- love it! Lmao ;)

  • deputydawg

    Bush was president in 2006, so this is a carryover from the last administration. Its Bush’s fault.

    • NotFondOfLibs

      Typical stupid liberal. when you don’t have anything intelligent to say, just say “it’s Bush’s fault.”

      • sarcasmisyourfriend

        You do realize he was being sarcastic, right?

      • Jack Kelner

        it’s difficult to tell when a liberal is being sarcastic, since any determination of their intelligence is dubious at best :(

      • locke

        You, My angry little friend, have been cursed with the impeccable power of being oblivious to sarcasm, which is a very crude way of speaking but effective nevertheless.

      • DidyouJustSayThat

        NotFondOfLibs……………….As a fellow conservative all I can say……don’t type anything ever again!

        To think…..this guy actually votes!


      I am sure it is a vast right wing conspiracy put on by Fox news and Rush Limbo to keep us from getting accurate infor from the real news media. Or maybe it is the Israelies trying to spy on their neighbors. better than spy sharks.

      • ThinksThenFeels

        Those were trained ATTACK Sharks, Woman! Much more dangerous than the lesser Spy Shark. Just ask the mayor.

    • Terry Knows Moore

      Will you idoits ever get an education?

      • grudd

        They are referring to certain Muslim and Arab countries accusing Isreal of using trained “spy sharks”. lmfknao

    • Sparki

      Do you realize how stupid you sound. Typical of someone who doesn’t understand polictics or how to speak period. Grow up…

      • I love LA.

        Its sound like the folks in LA have some issues – we in Texas have fences and predator drones. And lots of guns.
        Man I miss spell check
        Isreal – really – get of my blog – losers – go jump back in the I5 traffic.

        Bubba J

  • Underwhelmed

    I think it is Bush’s fault…

    • Leroy Valentine

      Mr. Presidente, raise your arms into the air and thwart this evil solar flare! Then get back to the teleprompter.

    • Albert MacMeda

      To those still suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome, everything is and always will be Bush’s fault.

      Others have lives and have moved on.

  • Off Duty

    So….that’s how I ended up in Shaboygen!

    • keith

      ha ha ha. Good one!

    • Mikey

      Sheboygan, if you mean the city in Wisconsin.

      • Sargon

        Bratwurst capitol of the Galaxy!

  • James H.

    What kind of events will be blamed on the SUN now ? Oh well…..

    • Locke

      The next uprising….. Possessed by the Sun to do so?

    • Ron Reale

      Everything but the temperature of the earth!
      Ron Reale

      • Albert MacMeda

        Well fortunately only a dwindling, uninformed or willingly deluded minority hasn’t realized that the primary determinant of the temperature of the Earth is the sun…

      • Scott Batten

        And sadly, those are the idiots in power :0

    • soopergooman

      actually since the last mass ejection (lol) last summer, the half life of carbon 13 has changed, so either the elements are being affected or time is speeding up.

      • kolys

        Carbon-13 is a stable isotope. It doesn’t HAVE a half-life.

      • Internet office monitor

        I’ll give you a mass ejection – known as a pearl necklace.
        Do you guys over at the office not think I can see you are not working and looking up big polysyllable words on google.
        Get back to work, your boss!

  • Fanny Forbes Franklen

    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    – Albert Einstein

  • SunnyDay

    It’s gotta be Bush’s fault

    • Albert MacMeda

      Now I’ve heard it all… Bush was so dumb and inept, just a sock puppet, controlled by some sinister, unseen force to claims that Bush now causes solar flares, among the most energetic thing to happen in our solar system.

      You know, this is a good example of what my brother used to call liberal schizophrenia – where one moment they say one thing and the next they say exactly the opposite and they don’t even notice that their own statements are contradictory.

      • Scott Batten

        It’s sarcasm. Unwind, relax, and know that Obama has this one covered. He will use a money shield to protect us. lol

  • Heltau

    can not wait for it to arrive in all its glory. May it make us ponder what it will be like to be back in the 1970’s without cell phones and such. I wonder if it will effect? cars and plains and trains and motorcycles? That would be a BIG bingo to the enviro BBFN wouldn’t now.

    • CannedGoods&ShotgunShells

      Ain’t gonna effect my car, truck, and motorcycle none, they’re all pre-70’s with none of them elemectronic doo-dads to git fried. Now if I can just finish building my hand-cranked vacuum tube laptop and my wireless rotary phone afore them electro-magnanimous-pulses hit, I’ll be all set…

      • Scott Batten

        It does, however, have a battery, which, if it is strong enough, will kill it, should you leave it hooked up.

  • Al Gore

    It’s manmade climate change causing this.

    • jerry klein

      If we pay you tons of cash with your global carbon tax scheme, will that save us- Al – Baby?

    • Albert MacMeda

      Just like it’s caused warming on other planets in the Solar System, right Al?

  • Sheldonrs

    I for one welcome our new Solar overseers and submit willingly to their dominion.

    • matthewmcghee

      Nicely done Sheldonrs, nicely done.

  • Jimmy Carter

    It’s America’s fault let me be the first to apologize to the rest of the world for this disaster.

    • Danbo

      Obama is way ahead of you on this, Jimster! The line forms behind him.

      • madmax

        why has’nt the One who said in germany “the seas shall recede” fixed this darn deal?

  • Bruce V

    By marshmallow stock now!

    • Erin

      I holled at this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BAHAHAHAHAHa

    • Scott Batten

      A TOAST to you my fried for the witticism.

  • Yoop

    It has to be Bush’s Fault everything else is.
    And I’m Sure Gore will add it to the list reason’s for Global Warming.
    And it will no doubt cause a rise in Gas prices, Food Prices, The stock market will drop and unemployment will go up.
    I only hope we get a BIG Aurora Show those nights. It has been a while since we had a good show.

    • Robert

      Yoop you forgot to mention that Toyotas will inexplicably rear-end people.

    • Glock45man

      Everything you listed happens when Barry Sorento, aka Obama, talks. The fool needs to keep his mouth shut.

      • kolys

        Sorrento is an Italian city and a brand of cheese. I think you were trying for “Soetoro”.

  • God of Sol System& Planet Earth


  • logi_cal

    The question is:
    Will the Mars 500 crew be simulating a CME event Feb 17-18, or Feb 19-20?

  • sonny

    largest solar flare since 2006 – what
    further proof do you need ___ GLOBAL WARMING !!!!!!!!

    • Danbo

      Foolish Earthling……global warming is real…..except it comes from the Sun, not anything remotely man-made as the alarmists would have you believe.

      • Greatness Lost Is Legend

        Capella system: Main stars,each with 80X our sun’s output are spiraling towards each other. Stars are nearly the same age as our star, but burning their hydrogen fuel much faster. They will collide between two million and half a million years from now according to several sources.

        Polar region of one of stars may be aimed at our system. When they nova a huge X ray burst will bathe Earth. Could be a very bad day. Talk about global warming. Nothing left but life in the ocean abyss. Of course this is all George Bush’s fault. Part of things going on at Area 51.

  • Opaque Blinders

    Ahhhh…leave the BBQ take the hot dogs…….

    • EeeGee

      will the mayo go bad?

      • algornot

        Mayo is for Treehuggers, trees will burn, they will die, no need for mayo…

      • windy

        It’s not the Mayo, haven’t you heard? It;s the onions in the mix.

  • Davew2

    “scientists have pointed out the sun is now ramping up ahead of an expected solar maximum around 2013.”

    Of course it will be attributed to man made global warming with carbon tax imposed.

    • tremayfreon caudwell

      and that perhaps the definitive example of “taxation sans representation.” the world is scheduled to end in 2012, or haven’t you heard?.

      • Bob

        cool . . . .

  • Chet

    It’s Cheney, operating the sunspot / sloar flare generating from the basement at the ranch in Crawford.

  • Pete

    Uh-oh: here comes global warming. Better duck!

    • tremayfreon caudwell

      “better duck.” in other words: better “u” than “i”.

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