October 21, 1989 |
The fickle Earth, which shook Northern California to its knees Tuesday, put on one of its prettiest faces Friday for five astronauts orbiting the planet. A brilliant display of the southern lights blazed across the sky as the space shuttle Atlantis sped over Australia. "This is really spectacular," Atlantis commander Donald E. Williams told Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center here.
June 13, 1991 |
Another geomagnetic storm hit Earth, building in intensity and threatening to disrupt power production and radio communication, government forecasters said. The Virginia Power Co. said it caused a surge of power that tripped off five power processing banks, and its magnetic energy disrupted some radio communications in Alaska, according to forecaster Norm Cohen of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 1998
A solar flare that shot out a huge bubble of superheated gas was accompanied by a quake inside the sun equal to a magnitude 11.3 shaker on Earth, researchers found. The sunquake released 40,000 times the energy of the magnitude 7.8 San Francisco earthquake of 1906. That's enough energy to power the United States for 20 years, based on current needs. The first-ever sunquake observations are reported in today's issue of the journal Nature. Alexander G.
October 20, 1989 |
A major solar flare on the sun Thursday hurled a surge of radiation toward the Earth that may disrupt communications and electrical power transmission over the next two days, government scientists said. Norman Cohen, a geophysical forecaster at the Space Environment Services Center run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., said he was sending alerts to electrical utilities in Canada and in the northern United States to expect possible power surges.
November 8, 2003 |
A solar flare that burst out of the sun Tuesday was the largest on record. The two previous most powerful flares, from 1989 and 2001, were rated at X-20 on the scale used by solar astronomers. Tuesday's event was at least an X-28 and could be revised upward. The flare was so powerful it "blinded" the satellite used to measure it for 11 minutes. The flare caused few problems on Earth because it was directed away from the planet and hit only with a glancing blow.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 1989 |
The sharpest pictures ever of flares on the surface of the sun have been obtained by astrophysicist Leo Golub of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory using an X-ray telescope fired by rocket to a height of 150 miles above the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico. The telescope took 40 pictures of the sun during a five-minute period of intense solar disturbances before being parachuted to the ground.
October 22, 1989 |
The space shuttle Atlantis is now scheduled to cut its five-day mission short by 1 1/2 hours Monday because high afternoon winds are forecast at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, space agency officials said Saturday. The new plan is to land one orbit earlier, at 11:08 a.m. PDT instead of 12:43 p.m., because the winds are expected to be lighter earlier in the day.
July 15, 2000 |
A magnetic storm that could disrupt radio transmissions and satellites--and also produce colorful northern lights--is expected to strike the Earth today and could last until Monday. The massive sunspot eruption took place early Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. "The storm is expected to reach strong to severe levels, which can adversely affect satellite operations and power grids," reported the agency.
November 24, 2000 |
A NASA spacecraft on a seven-year mission to collect comet dust survived a zap from an enormous solar flare this month. The Stardust spacecraft was hit Nov. 9 by a storm of high-energy particles 100,000 times more intense than usual, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which manages the mission. The spacecraft was 130 million miles away from the sun when it was struck, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.
January 7, 1999 |
Providing one more unlikely thing to worry about in the new millennium, Yale astronomers said Wednesday that some stars disturbingly like the sun emit highly destructive, supermassive solar flares, 100 to 10 million times larger than any flare observed on our sun.