To survive a solar radiation storm, your first priority must be to protect your bone marrow.
Always Protect your hips!
That's right. Protecting the hips may be a key to surviving solar storms. Other sensitive areas are the shoulders, spine, thighs, sternum and skull.
Why this odd list of body parts? The bones in these areas contain marrow -- the "blood factory" of the body. Delicate bone marrow cells are especially vulnerable to solar storms; a major dose of solar protons coursing through the body could wipe them out. And without these blood-forming marrow cells churning out a steady stream of new blood cells, a person would run out of blood in as little as a week. A bone marrow transplant would be required--stat!--but who can you get on short notice.
The best solution is to take cover, to get back to a radiation shelter. But if shelter is too far away to reach in time, wearing a handy spacesuit with extra radiation shielding over these key marrow-rich areas -- shoulders, hips, spine, etc. -- could mean the difference between living and dying.
From August 28 until September 2, 1859, numerous sunspots and solar flares were observed on the sun, the largest flare occurring on the 1st. A massive CME headed directly at Earth due to the solar flare and made it within eighteen hours—-a trip that normally takes three to four days. On September 1 and 2nd, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe shorted out, some even causing fires. Auroras were seen as far south as Hawaii, Mexico, Cuba, and Italy—phenomena that are usually only seen near the poles. This was the 1859 solar superstorm.
On 13 March 1989 a severe geomagnetic storm caused the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid in a matter of seconds as equipment protection relays tripped in a cascading sequence of events. Six million people were left without power for nine hours, with significant economic loss. The storm even caused auroras as far south as Texas . The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a Coronal Mass Ejection, ejected from the Sun on March 9, 1989.
In August 1989, another storm affected microchips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market.
Since 1989, power companies in North America, the UK, Northern Europe and elsewhere evaluated the risks of geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) and developed mitigation strategies.
Since 1995, geomagnetic storms and solar flares have been monitored from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) joint-NASA-European Space Agency satellite.
On Feb. 26, 2008 the magnetic fields erupted inside the magnetotail, releasing about 1015 Joules of energy. The blast launched two gigantic clouds of protons and electrons, one toward Earth and one away from Earth. The Earth-directed cloud crashed into the planet below, sparking vivid auroras in Canada and Alaska
A geomagnetic storm is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetosphere caused by a disturbance in space weather. Associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CME), coronal holes, or solar flares, a geomagnetic storm is caused by a solar wind shock wave which typically strikes the Earth's magnetic field 24 to 36 hours after the event. This only happens if the shock wave travels in a direction toward Earth. The solar wind pressure on the magnetosphere will increase or decrease depending on the Sun's activity. These solar wind pressure changes modify the electric currents in the ionosphere. Magnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours, but some may last for many days. In 1989, an electromagnetic storm disrupted power throughout most of Quebec —it caused auroras as far south as Texas.
On December 21, 2012, the Mayan calendar will complete its thirteenth cycle. According to the Mayan belief system, the world will end. And if you don’t believe the Mayans, you can check in with The Bible Code, The Nostradamus Code, or The Orion Prophecy, all of which predict planet-wide doom. Then again, maybe the year 2012 is just a new opportunity. Could 2012 bring us good things instead of bad? This book gives readers a look at what the Mayan prophecy is all about, what it means to them, and much more.
•Addresses Mayan predictions about global warming and climate change
•Includes a glossary of terms and symbols, resources for a changing world, and exercises to assist the reader in their journey
•The existence of almost 600,000 websites on 2012 indicates a huge fascination with this subject
The most powerful solar outburst on record could happen in 2012 or latter. But if it happened today, it could cause lasting damage to electric power grids, with cascading effects on the supply of water, perishable food, medicine and other necessities, for very many future years to come..
Damaged transformers, which change the electricity's voltage, could be a particularly big problem. "If a large number of those were taken out, it could take quite a while to replace them," says Baker. "There's not a lot of stock of them, and they have to be built to order."
One recent study suggested the Sun may be on the verge of a decades-long quiet period, during which big outbursts would be less likely (New Scientist, 10 January 2009, p 11). But such predictions are fraught with uncertainty.
2012 Solar Radiation hazards to humans
Intense solar flares release very-high-energy particles that can cause radiation poisoning to humans in the same way as low-energy radiation from nuclear blasts. Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere allow adequate protection at ground level, but astronauts in space are subject to potentially lethal doses of radiation. The penetration of high-energy particles into living cells can cause chromosome damage, cancer, and a host of other health problems. Large doses can be fatal immediately. Solar protons with energies greater than 30 MeV are particularly hazardous. In October 1989, the Sun produced enough energetic particles that an astronaut on the Moon, wearing only a space suit and caught out in the brunt of the storm, would probably have died; the expected dose would be about 7000 rem. (Astronauts who had time to gain safety in a shelter beneath moon soil would have absorbed only slight amounts of radiation.) The cosmonauts on the Mir station were subjected to daily doses of about twice the yearly dose on the ground, and during the solar storm at the end of 1989 they absorbed their full-year radiation dose limit in just a few hours.
From the sun-scorched sands of the Kalahari to the snake-infested jungles of the Amazon, Les Stroud has made a life of surviving in the harshest—and most remote—regions on Earth.
Now, the creator, producer, and host of the hit television program Survivorman transfers his decades of knowledge and experience to the pages of Survive!, a practical guide that gives everyday readers a no-nonsense look at the real world of survival.
Stroud offers readers the essential skills and tactics necessary to endure in any corner of the globe, along with a wealth of insider information born of his own experiences in the outdoors and unavailable in any other book. Readers will learn:
How to make a survival shelter and why a lean-to is largely a waste of time.
Why survival kits are important, and why you should make your own.
Where to find water and why drinking contaminated water is sometimes warranted.
How to locate and trap small animals and why the notion of tracking and hunting large game is largely a pipe dream.
Whether seasoned in the outdoor arts or new to adventuring, all readers will learn something from Survive!. Stroud's many colorful anecdotes and cut-to-the-chase philosophy not only make for an entertaining read, but also enhance anyone's ability to focus on the main goal when everything else has gone wrong—survival.
Solar proton events can also produce elevated radiation aboard aircraft flying at high altitudes. Although these risks are small, monitoring of solar proton events by satellite instrumentation allows the occasional exposure to be monitored and evaluated, and eventually the flight paths and altitudes adjusted in order to lower the absorbed dose of the flight crews.
There is a growing body of evidence that changes in the geomagnetic field affect biological systems. Studies indicate that physically stressed human biological systems may respond to fluctuations in the geomagnetic field. Interest and concern in this subject have led the International Union of Radio Science to create a new commission entitled Commission K - Electromagnetics in Biology and MedicineCurrent chair Dr. Frank Prato.
Possibly the most closely studied of the variable Sun's biological effects has been the degradation of homing pigeons' navigational abilities during geomagnetic storms. Pigeons and other migratory animals, such as dolphins and whales, have internal biological compasses composed of the mineral magnetite wrapped in bundles of nerve cells. This gives them the sense known as magnetoception. While this probably is not their primary method of navigation, there have been many pigeon race smashes, a term used when only a small percentage of birds return home from a release site. Because these losses have occurred during geomagnetic storms, pigeon handlers have learned to ask for geomagnetic alerts and warnings as an aid to scheduling races.
Many communication systems use the ionosphere to reflect radio signals over long distances. Ionospheric storms can affect radio communication at all latitudes. Some radio frequencies are absorbed and others are reflected, leading to rapidly fluctuating signals and unexpected propagation paths. TV and commercial radio stations are little affected by solar activity, but ground-to-air, ship-to-shore, shortwave broadcast, and amateur radio (mostly the bands below 30 MHz) are frequently disrupted. Radio operators using HF bands rely upon solar and geomagnetic alerts to keep their communication circuits up and running.
Some military detection or early warning systems are also affected by solar activity. The over-the-horizon radar bounces signals off the ionosphere in order to monitor the launch of aircraft and missiles from long distances. During geomagnetic storms, this system can be severely hampered by radio clutter. Some submarine detection systems use the magnetic signatures of submarines as one input to their locating schemes. Geomagnetic storms can mask and distort these signals.
The Federal Aviation Administration routinely receives alerts of solar radio bursts so that they can recognize communication problems and forego unnecessary maintenance. When an aircraft and a ground station are aligned with the Sun, jamming of air-control radio frequencies can occur. This can also happen when an Earth station, a satellite, and the Sun are in alignment.
The telegraph lines in the past were affected by geomagnetic storms as well. The telegraphs used a long wire for the data line, stretching for many miles, using ground as the return wire and being fed with DC power from a battery; this made them (together with the power lines mentioned below) susceptible to being influenced by the fluctuations caused by the ring current. The voltage/current induced by the geomagnetic storm could have led to diminishing of the signal, when subtracted from the battery polarity, or to overly strong and spurious signals when added to it; some operators in such cases even learned to disconnect the battery and rely on the induced current as their power source. In extreme cases the induced current was so high the coils at the receiving side burst in flames, or the operators received electric shocks. Geomagnetic storms affect also long-haul telephone lines, including undersea cables if they aren't fiber optic based.
Systems such as GPS, LORAN, and the now-defunct OMEGA are adversely affected when solar activity disrupts their signal propagation. The OMEGA system consisted of eight transmitters located throughout the world. Airplanes and ships used the very low frequency signals from these transmitters to determine their positions. During solar events and geomagnetic storms, the system gave navigators information that is inaccurate by as much as several miles. If navigators had been alerted that a proton event or geomagnetic storm is in progress, they could have switched to a backup system.
GPS signals are affected when solar activity causes sudden variations in the density of the ionosphere, causing the GPS signals to scintillate (like a twinkling star). The scintillation of satellite signals during ionospheric disturbances is studied at HAARP during ionospheric modification experiments. It has also been studied at the Jicamarca Radio Observatory.
One technology used to allow GPS receivers to continue to operate in the presence of some confusing signals is Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring.
Geomagnetic storms and increased solar ultraviolet emission heat Earth's upper atmosphere, causing it to expand. The heated air rises, and the density at the orbit of satellites up to about 1000 km increases significantly. This results in increased drag on satellites in space, causing them to slow and change orbit slightly. Unless Low Earth Orbit satellites are routinely boosted to higher orbits, they slowly fall, and eventually burn up in Earth's atmosphere.
Skylab is an example of a spacecraft reentering Earth's atmosphere prematurely in 1979 as a result of higher-than-expected solar activity. During the great geomagnetic storm of March 1989, four of the Navy's navigational satellites had to be taken out of service for up to a week, the U.S. Space Command had to post new orbital elements for over 1000 objects affected, and the Solar Maximum Mission satellite fell out of orbit in December the same year.
The vulnerability of the satellites depends on their position as well. The South Atlantic Anomaly is a perilous place for a satellite to pass through.
As technology has allowed spacecraft components to become smaller, their miniaturized systems have become increasingly vulnerable to the more energetic solar particles. These particles can cause physical damage to microchips and can change software commands in satellite-borne computers.
Another problem for satellite operators is differential charging. During geomagnetic storms, the number and energy of electrons and ions increase. When a satellite travels through this energized environment, the charged particles striking the spacecraft cause different portions of the spacecraft to be differentially charged. Eventually, electrical discharges can arc across spacecraft components, harming and possibly disabling them.
Bulk charging (also called deep charging) occurs when energetic particles, primarily electrons, penetrate the outer covering of a satellite and deposit their charge in its internal parts. If sufficient charge accumulates in any one component, it may attempt to neutralize by discharging to other components. This discharge is potentially hazardous to the satellite's electronic systems.
Earth's magnetic field is used by geologists to determine subterranean rock structures. For the most part, these geodetic surveyors are searching for oil, gas, or mineral deposits. They can accomplish this only when Earth's field is quiet, so that true magnetic signatures can be detected. Other surveyors prefer to work during geomagnetic storms, when the variations to Earth's normal subsurface electric currents help them to see subsurface oil or mineral structures. For these reasons, many surveyors use geomagnetic alerts and predictions to schedule their mapping activities.
When magnetic fields move about in the vicinity of a conductor such as a wire, a geomagnetically induced current is produced into the conductor. This happens on a grand scale during geomagnetic storms (the same mechanism also influences telephone and telegraph lines, see above). Power companies transmit alternating current to their customers via long transmission lines. The nearly direct currents induced in these lines from geomagnetic storms are harmful to electrical transmission equipment, especially to the transformers—it overheats their coils and causes saturation of their cores, constraining their performance; it also tends to trip various protective devices. Potentially the heat generated in the iron cores of the generators can destroy them and chain reaction could blow transformers throughout a system. On March 13, 1989, in Québec, 6 million people were without commercial electric power for 9 hours as a result of a huge geomagnetic storm. Some areas in the northeastern U.S. and in Sweden also lost power. By receiving geomagnetic storm alerts and warnings, power companies can minimize damage and power outages.
Rapidly fluctuating geomagnetic fields can produce geomagnetically induced currents also into pipelines. During these times, several problems can arise for pipeline engineers. Flow meters in the pipeline can transmit erroneous flow information, and the corrosion rate of the pipeline is dramatically increased. If engineers unwittingly attempt to balance the current during a geomagnetic storm, corrosion rates may increase even more. Pipeline managers routinely receive alerts and warnings to help them provide an efficient and long-lived system.
The world is coming to an end on December 21, 2012! At least, that's the date predicted by the Mayans more than two thousand years old. DECODING THE PAST peels back the layers of mystery and examines in detail how the Maya calculated the exact date of doomsday.
Journey back to the ancient city of Chichen Itza, the hub of Maya civilization deep in the heart of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The Maya were legendary astronomers and timekeepers--their calendar is more accurate than our own. By tracking the stars and planets they assigned great meaning to astronomical phenomena and made extraordinary predictions based on them--many of whichÃ‚ have come true. Could their doomsday prophecy be one of them? In insightful interviews archaeologists, astrologers, and historians speculate on the meaning of the 2012 prophecy. Their answers are as intriguing as the questions.
Celebrate the 260 day Mayan calendar and the 360 day calendar! Olmec, Aztec and the Maya human beings used this calendar before they were conquered. This is a spiritual calendar showing the sequence of energies which are "day." See for yourself.
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