The atmosphere and the windows of a car are relatively transparent to the sun’s shortwave radiation (shown as yellow rays in the diagrams) and are warmed little. This shortwave energy, however, does heat objects it strikes. For example, a dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180°F to more than 200°F. These objects – dashboard, steering wheel, child-seat, heat the adjacent air by conduction and convection and give off long-wave radiation (infrared), which efficiently warms the air trapped inside a vehicle.
Objects Heated by the Sun Warm Vehicle’s Air
Photos: Courtesy of General Motors and Golden Gate Weather Services
The National Weather Service statistical data of U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that heat kills more persons per year than lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods combined. In the 10 years from 1994 to 2003, on the average excessive heat claimed 237 lives each year. By contrast, floods killed 84; lightning, 63; tornadoes, 58; and hurricanes, 18.
In the killer heat wave of 1980, more than 1,250 people died. In 1995 more than 700 deaths in the Chicago, Illinois area attributed to the heat wave. In August 2003, in Europe, a record heat wave killed an estimated 50,000 lives.
The sun unleashed some powerful solar flares on July 4, 2012. One solar flare erupted at 0947 GMT (5:47 a.m. EDT) and hit its peak strength eight minutes later. According to the Space Weather Prediction Group operated by NOAA the flare fired off from the active sunspot AR1515, registered as a class M5.3 solar storm on the scale used by astronomers to measure space weather.
Sunspot AR1515 is a huge active region on the sun that covers an area about 62,137 miles long (100,000 kilometers). It has been responsible for a series of strong solar flares in recent days and may not die off soon. In fact, the sunspot region has now spewed 12 M-class solar flares since Tuesday, NASA officials said in a statement on Thursday. This sunspot region has also produced several coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are clouds of plasma and charged particles hurled into space during solar storms.
Spaceweather.com, a space weather tracking website run by astronomer Tony Phillips announced, “The chance of the occurrence of an X-flare is increasing today as sunspot AR1515 develops a ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for the most powerful explosions. The sunspot itself is huge, stretching more than 100,000 km (8 Earth-diameters) from end to end.”
X-class solar flares are the strongest sun storms the sun can unleash. M-class flares considered medium-strength, and C-class the weakest.
Radio blackouts can occur when a layer of Earth’s atmosphere, called the ionosphere, is bombarded with X-rays or extreme ultraviolet light from solar eruptions. Disturbances in the ionosphere can change the paths of high and low-frequency radio waves, which can affect information carried along these channels.
So, these flares directed towards Earth have the potential to disrupt satellite transmissions in their paths; endanger unshielded astronauts in space; disrupt GPS signals and communications; and can damage power systems and communications infrastructure on the ground.
That same morning on July 4, 2012, another solar flare that reached M2 on the sun storm scale was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft currently watching the sun. The flare peaked at 0437 GMT (12:37 a.m. EDT).
Spaceweather.com said that as of July 4, Earth will be in the crosshairs of any major flares and “any X-flares will certainly be Earth-directed,” they explained. “The sunspot is directly facing our planet.”
However, NASA officials said that the CMEs triggered by this week’s solar flares, however, are moving relatively slowly, and will likely not hit Earth since the active region is located so far south on the face of the sun.
But, the sunspot is slowly rotating toward Earth, and scientists are still monitoring its activity.
“Stay tuned for updates as Region 1515 continues its march across the solar disk,” officials at the Space Weather Prediction Center, a joint service of NOAA and the National Weather Service, wrote in an update.
The sun is now in the midst of an active phase of its 11-year solar weather cycle. The current cycle, known as Solar Cycle 24 the 24th solar cycle since 1755, when recording of solar sunspot activity began. Though this current solar cycle, began on January 8, 2008 there was minimal activity through early 2009.
NASA predicts that solar cycle 24 will peak in early or mid 2013 with about 59 sunspots. But the International Space Environment Service predicts the cycle to peak at 90 sunspots in May 2013
Extreme Heat – Watches, warnings and advisories
YesterdayJuly 5, 2012 a solar flare was registered as M6.1. The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the above image of the sun when the flare peaked at 7:44 AM EDT. The M6.1 eruption of yesterday is a little over half the size of the weakest X-class flare, NASA officials said.
Currently we live in Ellicott City, Maryland. Last Friday (June 29), the high temperature of 103°F at BWI Marshall Airport would have set a record on any other June day. The record for June 29 in Baltimore was 105°F. That day, we experienced a sudden storm that surprised almost everyone in Maryland.
This storm that devastated much of Maryland on Friday, is known as a “derecho” and its impact was among the most severe and widespread. Storm reports show wind gusts neared 70 mph.
Derechos are widespread storms in which multiple bands of strong storms packing damaging winds move hundreds of miles. According to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, their name comes from the Spanish word for “direct” or “straight ahead”, the way the storms typically move.
The heavy winds, typically upward of 60 mph, come from downbursts in storm clouds, caused by differences in the heat and density of air within the storm systems.
The death of an elderly Baltimore County man was reported to state officials today (Friday), the 12th death in Maryland from a massive storm that struck July 29 and extreme heat that has lingered since. The man brings to nine the number of heat-related deaths in the state. Another three people died in the storm. No additional details on the heat deaths were available.
This prevailing hot weather is expected to last for the next three days, including potentially deadly heat and more severe storms.
Today, in the wake of the X-class solar flares occurring on July 4 and on July 5, the National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning at about 2 p.m, cautioning of heat indices around 110°F in Central Maryland on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The National Weather Service is forecasting a high of 104°F Saturday in Baltimore, and heat indices could reach 110°F to 115°F.
Each National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (WFO) can issue the following heat-related products as conditions warrant:
Excessive Heat Outlook: when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3 to 7 days. An outlook is used to indicate that a heat event may develop. It is intended to provide information to those who need considerable lead time to prepare for the event, such as public utilities, emergency management and public health officials.
Excessive Heat Watch: when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 12 to 48 hours. A watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased, but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set their plans in motion can do so, such as established individual city excessive heat event mitigation plans.
Excessive Heat Warning/Advisory: when an excessive heat event is expected in the next 36 hours. These products are issued when an excessive heat event is occurring, is imminent, or has a very high probability of occurrence. The warning is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property. An advisory is for less serious conditions that cause significant discomfort or inconvenience and, if caution is not taken, could lead to a threat to life and/or property.
So, we will have to postpone our normal weekend yard work and other outdoor activities.
For now, let’s forget all the small planets and focus on Jupiter. It makes one complete trip around the Sun every 11.861773 years. There’s a new theory put forth by Dr. Rollin Gillespie which shows that Jupiter, and to a smaller degree the other less massive planets, may trigger the 11 year cycle of sunspots and solar flares.
Here’s how it works.
The barycenter is not a single point in the Sun. Because the Sun is a rotating gaseous sphere, the barycenter forms a vertical, cylindrical “sleeve” that is partially inside and outside the main solar body. All of the planets have such a “sleeve,” one inside the other, depending on their relative mass and the location of their barycenters. The particular sleeve representing the mass of Jupiter intersects the solar surface at 35.9 degrees North and South. This is precisely where sunspot and flare activity begin and end during each 11 year cycle.The new cycle has already begun with the recent observation of a solar spot with reverse polarity. But some surprising activity on March 27, 2008, showed some huge eruptions with M-class radiation at about the equatorial region of the Sun. [ See Solar Map]. These surprising eruptions suggest a barycenter of disturbance from an object even more massive than Jupiter, placing the “sleeve” outside the Sun. Could this be the beginning of the Galaxy’s effects (keep reading to learn more about this) on our Sun?Scientists have noted that when Jupiter and Saturn are aligned on the same side of the Sun, the solar maximum (the period when we have the most sunspots and flares) is at its weakest; when they are on opposite sides of the Sun the solar maximum is at its strongest. The positions of these two planets on December 21, 2012 are ideal for extreme solar activity.
We recently learned that we had overlooked an even more significant alignment that we are presenting here for the first time [Above]. There is a straight-line alignment of Jupiter, the Earth, the Sun and (most significantly) the Galactic Center (a black hole). This alignment happens on December 20th, 2012 — just a few hours before the actual “doomsday.”
These cylinders are usually quite orderly because the planets adhere to a narrow plane, called the ecliptic which resembles a thin plate extending from the equator of the Sun. The planets hang out here because (in simple terms) this is the zone where the gravitation of the system is the strongest. (see below)
But nature is never perfect. The Sun rotates at a slight angle (7.25 degrees), much as our Earth does. As it wobbles, it tilts the sleeves, causing them to clash with each other and eventually disrupt the surface. Having the barycenters of the two most massive planets, Jupiter and Saturn, in maximum misalignment is especially disruptive. This disturbance, to put it simply, works its way to the surface and erupts in sun spots and solar flares or CME’s (Coronal Mass Ejections).
The last solar cycle was at its maximum in 2001. Each active solar cycle has a period when the flares are strongest, usually happening near the solar equator, called the “solar maximum.” This is significant because the next “solar maximum” event will coincide with December 21, 2012. But wait — there’s much more!
Solar flares are pieces of the sun which leap into space, discharging radiation and strong electrical currents that travel outward into space. They often fall back to the surface of the Sun. Sometimes, a very strong flare, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), actually leaves the Sun and this deadly mass shoots out from the Sun towards the planets like a bullet. Usually these CME’s don’t hit anything but occasionally they hit a planet like Earth. Some believe a powerful CME once hit Mars.
Most solar flares are small. But even a small flare can be dangerous. In 1989 a flare hit the North American continent and fried electric lines, zapped power grids in the US and Canada, and created large power blackouts. Flares can also effect our moods and physical health. In theory, a large flare impacting the Earth could zap the ionosphere (there goes all the satellites, cell phones, GPS…) and irradiate the surface, killing every living organism that it touched.
Solar flares and sun spots have an average cycle of 11.120412 years (estimated from one “solar maximum” to the next). Right now, 2009, we are just entering the active period of cycle number 24, after an unusually long period of quiet solar activity. This quiet period led some people at NASA to conclude that cycle 24 would be a very quiet cycle — contradicting the earlier predictions they made for an extremely violent cycle. Now they have redacted their call for a quiet cycle since the activity has again commenced. The scientists who study the Sun have also recently announced that they have measured the solar currents, deep inside the Sun, which correspond the Dr. Gillespie’s barycenter currents. But to date they have not been able to agree what causes these deep currents of solar material.
The small discrepancy between the average 11.120412 year solar cycle and the 11.861773 year period of Jupiter is close enough to be significant but suggests that something else is also influencing solar disturbances. Sure, it could be attributed to the various positions of the other less massive planets, but it could also be something even more significant — the Milky Way.
The Perfect Storm
Our solar system is part of a huge disc shaped collection of stars and planets called the Milky Way. We’re located somewhere on the edge of the disc, slightly on top of the narrow disc. But very soon we’ll be moving to the bottom of the disc. This change, from top to bottom, begins on December 21, 2012.
Yes, that’s right. On the same day when our Sun is at it’s solar maximum, something will happen that’s never happened for thousands of eons of time — the ecliptic of our solar system will intersect with the Galactic plane, called the “Galactic Equator” of the Milky Way! [See star chart].
If you imagine our solar system as a bunch of peas on a plate, with a huge meatball in the center, imagine the Milky Way as a city-size pizza with the “Guiness World Book Record Meatball” in its center!
Prior to December 2012 we have been drifting on the top of the pizza, never really able to see the bottom. The plate and pizza are not parallel. They are moving at different angles. We’ve been drifting down, down, down… and on December 21st, 2012, we will be exactly on level with the crust — forming an “x” at the Galactic Equator where galactic gravity is the strongest. After 2012, if we are still here, we will be passing through the bottom zone, viewing the Milky Way pizza from the South.
Yes, there’s even more!
By some amazing coincidence, not only will we be intersecting with the Galactic Equator, but we will be doing this precisely aligned with the center of the Galaxy where there is maximum mass! More mass means more gravity. More gravity means more influence from those barycenters in our Sun. That means exponential increases in solar disruptions — all coinciding on the same day! Whew!
[Above: The Hercules Cluster of galaxies. This group of galaxies is held together by the gravitational attraction or “pull” of each individual galaxy on the others in the group. This demonstrates the enormous gravity contained in a galaxy, such as our own Milky Way.]
IMPORTANT NOTE: Many people do not understand the alignment of the solar system’s ecliptic with the Galaxy’s equator. This is because the phenomenon called “the precession” is described as the shifting of background stars due to the “wobble” of planet Earth. In fact, it is not only the planet that wobbles but the entire solar system that wobbles. Many web sites try to debunk the alignment by claiming that it is just the Earth that will be aligned with the Galactic center and the equator. They fail to recognize recent discoveries that show that all of the planets move with the Earth and the Sun against the background stars — including one star: Sirius. Some astronomers suggest that Sirius may, therefore, be part of our solar system.
An apology and acknowledgement
OK. This has been a “lightweight” description of what’s going to happen. It has been simplified to the point where some scholars and scientists could argue about my presentation. But the main facts are true. The date, December 21, 2012, is a special day. It represents the maximum possible influences for solar flares that the universe can provide. Undoubtedly the Mayans, or the civilization that influenced them, somehow knew about these things.
Over the last decade, I have written a variety of stories about such things as underground cities and government actions that could only make sense if there were no future. I cannot help but think that maybe they, like the Mayans, know about these things. I’d specifically like to suggest that readers take another look at the underground complex at Yamantau that the Russians are building. Could this be a haven for surviving a solar blast? And the “doomsday seed bank” that’s being filled deep inside an Arctic island. And what about past events? Did the Hopi go underground to survive a similar event thousands of years earlier? Should we be going underground also?
It’s also important to stress that December 21, 2012 is only the “solar maximum” but that the gravitational effects of the Galaxy have already started to assert their influence on the Sun. The drift towards alignment with the galactic equator is relatively slow and, in truth, has already started. But the precise culmination of this, plus the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn all make 12/21/12 an ominous date.
I especially want to thank Dr. Rollin Gillespie, a man with whom I corresponded for ten years and who first developed the idea that planetary multi-body systems could be at play in the causation of solar flares. More of his work can be read on a special page on Viewzone. I would also direct your attention to the following two news reports of the discovery of gamma rays coinciding with the Galactic equator (through which we will be shortly passing) and the alarming report that our planet’s magnetic shield (guarding against, among other things, gamma radiation) has been damaged.You may want to continue reading the second part of this article for more details on what to expect.
Please let’s have your input on this important issue. It’s only three years away. Who knows, perhaps the influences of these disruptions will begin well before the solar and Galactic maximum is reached. We may not have that much time left. Here are some additional links to stories that may help understand the possibilities facing our planet and us.