At the website Space Weather, reports of what is being called “one of the largest solar prominences in years” has has been observed near the sun’s northwestern limb. The initial event, having occurred two days ago, is expected to reach Earth sometime on April 15th.
“The massive plasma-filled structure rose up and burst during a 2 hour period around 0900 UT on April 13th,” the report reads. “The eruption hurled a bright coronal mass ejection (CME, movie) into space. The expanding cloud could deliver a glancing blow to Earth’s magnetic field around April 15th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of polar geomagnetic activity when the CME arrives.” With increased geomagnetic activity of this sort, there could be any manner of strange phenomena that will become observable in the resulting “window” of scientific anomalies, many of which are only present during such solar storms.
For instance, changes in the geomagnetic field, typically resulting from Earth’s bombardment by solar rays, may affect biological systems in a number of ways. Studies have shown that that “physically stressed” people have been observed responding to fluctuations in the geomagnetic field, arousing enough concern for the International Union of Radio Science to establish it’s Commission K–Electromagnetics in Biology and Medicine. Under the most extreme circumstances, solar radiation from the sun can be harmful to the health of those overexposed, as is the case with most any form of radiation, resulting in poisoning and even death; this, however, poses the greatest risk to those outside the protective structures of Earth’s geomagnetic field, such as astronauts in space.
Other strange affects witnessed during massive solar and geomagnetic storms include interference with the navigational abilities of a variety of animals. Pigeons, as well as dolphins and whales, utilize a unique system called magnetoception, in which biological “compasses” composed of the mineral magnetite wrapped in bundles of nerve cells help them find their way along migratory paths. Especially in the case with homing pigeons, a number of incidents involving confusion and disorientation have occurred during geomagnetic storms, prompting a necessity among pigeon handlers for alerts and warnings as to whether geomagnetic storms will be present.
Auroral activity will also likely increase, and in the event that electromagnetic phenomenon may be the cause behind earthlight activity (such as that which occurs at locations like Hessdalen, Norway and in the Linville Gorge of Western North Carolina, popularly known as the Brown Mountain Lights), increased activity could be expected in popular locations associated with the phenomenon.by