The Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 1921

May 12, 2020: 99 years ago this week, people around the world woke up to some unusual headlines.

“Telegraph Service Prostrated, Comet Not to Blame” — declared the Los Angeles Times on May 15, 1921. “Electrical Disturbance is ‘Worst Ever Known’” — reported the Chicago Daily Tribune. “Sunspot credited with Rail Tie-up” — deadpanned the New York Times.

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Will Coronavirus Help Nature Reclaim the Earth?

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Yet another green celebrating the retreat of humans in the face of a deadly epidemic.

The Green Read: Will coronavirus help nature reclaim the Earth?

There are signs of wildlife flourishing in the absence of humans, but COVID-19 has also slowed conservation efforts.

by Nick Clark 30 Apr 2020

In these times when we need to seek out positives to counter the gloom, there are many good things happening in the natural world. In the space wrought open by COVID-19, a quiet has descended on parts of our planet previously drowned out by normal life thundering on.

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This kind of solar storm could be devastating in today’s world…”The Carrington Event” of 1859

By Paul Dorian – Re-Blogged From Perspecta Weather

Overview

The sun continues to be very quiet and it has been without sunspots this year 69% of the time as we approach what is likely to be one of the deepest solar minimums in a long, long time. In fact, all indications are that the upcoming solar minimum may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century.  In addition, there are now forecasts that the next solar cycle, #25, will be the weakest in more than 200 years. Even weak solar cycles, however, can produce significant solar storms. In fact, it was this same time of year back in 1859 when a super solar storm – now known as the “Carrington Event” – took place during another weak solar cycle (#10).  The event has been named for the British astronomer, Richard Carrington, as he observed from his own private observatory the largest solar flare which caused a major coronal mass ejection (CME) to travel directly toward Earth.  Fortunately, solar storms of this magnitude are quite rare as it would very likely have a much more damaging impact on today’s world than it did in the 19th century.

 

A modern solar flare recorded December 5, 2006, by the X-ray Imager onboard NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. The flare was so intense that it actually damaged the instrument that took the picture. Researchers believe Carrington's solar flare was much more energetic than this one.

A modern solar flare recorded December 5, 2006, by the X-ray Imager onboard NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite. The flare was so intense that it actually damaged the instrument that took the picture. Researchers believe Carrington’s solar flare was much more energetic than this one.

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Revisiting Day One of the Cenozoic Era

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Cenozoic Era: The Era of New Life

Figure 0. Cenozoic stratigraphic column. (ICS Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy)

Who would have ever guessed that details about the first day of the Cenozoic Era might have been preserved the stratigraphic record?

Sep 09, 2019
Rocks at Asteroid Impact Site Record First Day of Dinosaur Extinction

AUSTIN, Texas — When the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs slammed into the planet, the impact set wildfires, triggered tsunamis and blasted so much sulfur into the atmosphere that it blocked the sun, which caused the global cooling that ultimately doomed the dinos.

That’s the scenario scientists have hypothesized. Now, a new study led by The University of Texas at Austin has confirmed it by finding hard evidence in the hundreds of feet of rocks that filled the impact crater within the first 24 hours after impact.

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NASA’s Dragonfly Will Fly Around Titan Looking for Origins, Signs of Life

Re-Blogged From NASA – Spaceweather
NASA has announced that our next destination in the solar system is the unique, richly organic world Titan. Advancing our search for the building blocks of life, the Dragonfly mission will fly multiple sorties to sample and examine sites around Saturn’s icy moon.

Dragonfly will launch in 2026 and arrive in 2034. The rotorcraft will fly to dozens of promising locations on Titan looking for prebiotic chemical processes common on both Titan and Earth. Dragonfly marks the first time NASA will fly a multi-rotor vehicle for science on another planet; it has eight rotors and flies like a large drone. It will take advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere – four times denser than Earth’s – to become the first vehicle ever to fly its entire science payload to new places for repeatable and targeted access to surface materials.

NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander
This illustration shows NASA’s Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander approaching a site on Saturn’s exotic moon, Titan. Taking advantage of Titan’s dense atmosphere and low gravity, Dragonfly will explore dozens of locations across the icy world, sampling and measuring the compositions of Titan’s organic surface materials to characterize the habitability of Titan’s environment and investigate the progression of prebiotic chemistry.
Credits: NASA/JHU APL

Almost Earth-like, We’re Certain

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

There has been a lot of news recently about exoplanets. An extrasolar planet is a planet outside our solar system.  The Wiki article has a list of exoplanets.  I only mention exoplanets because there is a set of criteria for specifications of what could turn out to be an “Earth-like planet”, of interest to space scientists, I suppose, as they might harbor “life-as-we-know-it” and/or be a potential colonization target.

One of those specifications for an Earth-like planet is an appropriate average surface temperature, usually said to be 15 °C.  In fact, our planet, Sol 3 or simply Earth, is very close to qualifying as Earth-like as far as surface temperature goes. Here’s that featured image full-sized:

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Sound Waves Reveal Huge Cache of Diamonds Inside the Earth

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Sound waves reveal diamond cache deep in Earth’s interior

Study finds 1–2 percent of Earth’s oldest mantle rocks are made from diamond.

From MIT:

There may be more than a quadrillion tons of diamond hidden in the Earth’s interior, according to a new study from MIT and other universities. But the new results are unlikely to set off a diamond rush. The scientists estimate the precious minerals are buried more than 100 miles below the surface, far deeper than any drilling expedition has ever reached.

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