Disclosure: Solar flares in 1967 almost started World War III

This particular topic is an area of active, high-value research this author is engaged in. The first section of this post will serve as a backdrop to the WUWT piece (below) as to why a proper understanding of the sun’s influence on the Earth and its near-space environment is critical to our long-term survival, not just by how we would respond to a real contingency (as described in the WUWT piece) but also in the development and implementation of a workable, worldwide climate policy.

Note: The original piece (at foot of page) is a reblog from Anthony Watts’, Watts Up With That Climate Skeptics blog.

Medium resolution image of Professor Madigan’s Exhibit, highlighting and showcasing his ongoing research. Click the image to download. Other download options are available below.

Full resolution image (2624 x 2250) is available for download here

SolarSID(Final Draft7)

In its support and commitment to STEM and STEM-related fields, Suffolk County Community College consistently hosts NSF-Sponsored STEM events. For two days during the Spring 2015 semester, the college hosted one such event on Wednesday and Thursday, 18 and 19 March during which students and faculty had the opportunity to exhibit and showcase their research projects at the college’s main library.

This author took the opportunity to showcase his work with Solar Flares, Space Weather and his ongoing Solar research, highlighting just how important our understanding of the sun and its cycle is and how it affects our climate and our technology in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology. It is difficult to understate the role solar dynamics plays on the Earth’s near-space environment and that this has a direct impact on our lives. A proper understanding of it is essential in an ever-increasingly technical world and how we establish and implement national and international climate policy.

The full text of Professor Madigan’s exhibit is available here.

Professor Madigan fields questions from students regarding his exhibit
Professor Madigan’s exhibit with poster on display

Composite video of the Sun on October 22, 2014 as recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The bright illuminated regions of the sun that appear in this video are over six million degrees, so hot that iron has been ionized between 11 and 17 times!

Ionospheric Dampening on October 22, 2014. Each of the flares seen in the above video have a corresponding analog represented in this chart.

Similar to the chart included as part of the integrated poster, above, this illustration shows the ionospheric response and suppression from solar flares as recorded with the college’s space weather and solar flare monitoring equipment. This particular day, October 22, 2014, saw a flurry of solar flares ranging in magnitude from significant C-Class flares through M-Class flares of varying magnitudes to a severe X-Class flare of magnitude 1.6.

Professor Madigan Explaining the difference between a Solar Flare and a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

Watts Up With That?

1967 solar storm nearly took US to brink of war

A view of the sun on May 23, 1967, in a narrow visible wavelength of light called Hydrogen-alpha. The bright region in the top center region of brightness shows the area where the large flare occurred. CREDIT National Solar Observatory historical archive. A view of the sun on May 23, 1967, in a narrow visible wavelength of light called Hydrogen-alpha. The bright region in the top center region of brightness shows the area where the large flare occurred. CREDIT National Solar observatory historical archive.

From AGU WASHINGTON, DC — A solar storm that jammed radar and radio communications at the height of the Cold War could have led to a disastrous military conflict if not for the U.S. Air Force’s budding efforts to monitor the sun’s activity, a new study finds.

On May 23, 1967, the Air Force prepared aircraft for war, thinking the nation’s surveillance radars in polar regions were being jammed by the Soviet Union. Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm’s potential to disrupt radar and radio communications. The planes remained on the ground and…

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