Auroras possible tonight as Cannibal CME arrives

Paul Hoelen, Mortimer Bay, Hobart, Tasmania

UPDATE: I want to see an aurora, but living at 32S in Perth, Australia, this is like hoping to see the NorthernLights in Jerusalem or San Diego. No luck for me tonight, but there was one report from Geraldton 400km north of us (28.7S). Hopefully sometime in the next year during the solar max…

A quick note to say a CME just hit Earth, and some people may be able to see an aurora tonight that wouldn’t normally see one. A severe Kp 7 Geomagnetic storm is in progress (BOM estimate). Kp 7 is the bottom end of what is classed as a “severe” geomagnetic storm with Kp 8 and 9 being bigger (and even rarer).

Reports on X (Twitter): #AuroraAustralis #Auroraborealis

Southern Hemisphere data — BOM 3 day Geomagnetic Indices | Northern Hemisphere: SpaceWeatherLive

9.4 out of 10 based on 31 ratings […]

Betelgeuse may go supernova in our lifetime — brighter than the moon

By Jo Nova

Betelgeuse is the red giant at the top of Orion. Image by yoshitaka2 from Pixabay

Astronomers are very excited. A new paper suggests Betelgeuse — the red giant in Orion — might be only a decade or two (or maybe a century) away from going supernova. It’s the sort of thing that only happens once in a thousand years. Whenever it does go boom, it will shine brighter than the moon, and dominate the sky for a few months to a year.

It’s 600 light years away, so if it is going to go supernova in the next twenty years, then, of course, it must have already happened and the light is on the way.

Before anyone cracks the champers, the new paper by Saio is based on models trying to figure out what’s happening on a pulsating ball of fire 5,600 trillion kilometers away.

Charlie Martin, PJ Media:

Will We See a Supernova in Our Lifetimes?

There hasn’t been a supernova in our neighborhood since July 4, 1054, when Chinese astronomers observed a supernova, now labeled SN1054, that remained visible for almost two years. The remnants of that supernova are […]

Save Earth by blowing holes in the moon? Moon dust as a sunscreen for Earth

Art by Ofjd125gk87

By Jo Nova

In the next great environmental cult moment, “The Science” has a plan to explode a 10-billion-kilogram dust cloud off the moon between the Earth and the Sun. Shimmery white moon dust will dim the evil solar rays and “save us from our addiction to fossil fuels” (at least until we run out of Moon). The dust will disperse every couple of weeks, so we just need to keep topping up our global sunscreen by setting the explosives off. At least it probably won’t kill many whales.

The plan involves getting man back on the moon for the first time in fifty years, setting up a moon base, and a permanent mining colony, but (guard your coffee) — it might be cost effective:

Squirting a carefully calculated stream of Moondust from a future lunar station at the right point between the Sun and Earth might be the most cost-effective, risk-free means of keeping our cool until we come to our senses and cut emissions.

— PLOS Climate

But not as cost effective as spending 0.000000001% of that to check the science and blow up a few climate models instead.


Good Citizen China carelessly crashes 23 tons of space junk on Earth, gets lucky, but 300 flights in Spain delayed

By Jo Nova

Well that was lucky. Early reports suggest the Chinese space junk from the launch four days ago has crashed in the Pacific 1,000 km short of Mexico. However, if I am reading those maps (below) correctly, on this uncontrolled reentry it only missed Australia and New Zealand by half an hour, and just a few minutes later and it would have “landed” somewhere in Mexico or maybe Florida. (Now that would have been a November surprise).

Despite what China says, this is not what the rest of the world does:

China Lucks Out Again as Out-of-Control Rocket Booster Falls in the Pacific

Kenneth Chang, New York Times

It was China’s latest round of celestial roulette involving a deliberate uncontrolled atmospheric re-entry. The rocket stage, by design, did not include a system to guide it into a specific spot on Earth, far away from people.

“The thing I want to point out about this is that we, the world, don’t deliberately launch things this big intending them to fall wherever,” Ted Muelhaupt, a consultant for the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit group largely financed by the U.S. government that […]

The Shadow War in Space “every day”: Russia, China use lasers, jammers, dangerous stunts

China’s Long March-5B launch*

This should rattle the Wokeness Cage: Russia and China are actively testing the US defences in space on a daily basis. US assets are being harassed with lazers, radio jammers, cyber attacks and even other satellites with robotic grappling hook arms. The Russians even launched a satellite into an orbit so close to a US Security satellite that from the ground people couldn’t tell if it was being attacked, then, in something like a James Bond movie stunt, the Russian satellite launched a little target and shot it, “dangerously close”. That was in 2019. We can see now why Trump set up “Space Force”.

Last week the news came out that China’s space program was going nuclear, and the 1MW reactor would be 100 times larger than the one NASA plans to put on the moon by 2030.

Gen. David Thompson from Space Force estimates China may overtake the US in space by the end of the decade.

So by 2030 the US hopes to reduce CO2 by 50% and China hopes it will command space.

Meanwhile, China is a developing nation that doesn’t need to reduce CO2 emissions at all, and in the […]

If a smart guy on youtube can explain these alien videos why can’t the Department of Defence??

With the US Defence Force about to release “something” on UFO’s, these very engaging videos from Mick West are persuasive and apropos. But if smart guys with trigonometry and metadata can explain how these aliens are mysterious camera artefacts — surely the Pentagon can too?

Why then are they called “unexplained” and why are they being released as teasers for “the big news?” Did the DoD forget parallax and gymbal corrections?

Apparently 120 incidents will be reviewed in June. Former intelligence director John Ratcliffe has hinted the report will be a big deal. Let’s hope they saved the best stuff. I’m looking forward to a good tantalizing mystery.

Michael Shermer (of infamy) wrote this all up in a long feature on Quillette:

Understanding the Unidentified

The “Go Fast” video purportedly shows an object with no heat source (and therefore propelled by some unconventional engine) that appears to move impossibly fast just above the surface of the ocean. West then conducted what he describes as “10th grade trigonometry” (based on the numbers provided in the video image itself) to show that, in fact, the object was well above the ocean surface at around 13,000 feet and was probably […]

Did a short sharp Geomagnetic storm contribute to the Callide Coal plant explosion?

Ben Davidson speaks from and claims that there was a short sharp geomagnetic storm over the East Coast of Australia around the time the Queensland Callide Power plant exploded.

The CME that flew past Earth didn’t do much around the world, causing a small 1% deviation in magnetometers. But there was a burst of activity in the Southern Hemisphere that appears to have hit the east coast of Australia. Magnetometers there saw a 300 – 500% change* between noon and 3pm on the same day as the Callide Coal Power Plant blew up. The explosion happened at 1.44pm and the 275 kV transmission lines tripped at 2:06pm.

*(UPDATE: There is some contention in comments about the Australian DST figures — we’re they really that high or unusual? I’ll update the post when I can confirm it either way).

We don’t know if this tipped something over the edge at Callide, but the timing is highly coincidental. If Earth’s magnetic field is weakening it would seem urgent, to say the least, to understand the risks these spaceweather events pose to our critical infrastructure.

Perhaps an engineer who knows the design of (hydrogen cooled) supercritical coal reactors might be able […]

Ominous space-weather: A mild Solar CME caused a bigger geomagnetic storm on Earth than anyone expected

This week a mild Coronal Mass Ejection off the sun blasted past Earth. It was only a mild CME with solar winds at 500km per second, which is a medium kind of speed. The experts were all predicting a G1 class Geomagnetic storm, and were a bit astonished when we got much bigger G3 storm instead. (NOAA’s G scale runs from G1 up to G5).

This occurred near the minimum weak point of the solar cycle, and we’re going to get much bigger blasts as Cycle 25 ramps up. But if mild CMEs can rattle the Earth’s magnetic field this much, things might get much more exciting when moderate or strong CME’s shake the cage. Satellites and networks could be in trouble. “Grid’s Away”…

Is Earths magnetic field weaker or more vulnerable than we thought? How could we miss that?

As Cap Allon of Electroverse said:

“Nobody saw the KP Index hitting 7.

…when I say nobody, I mean nobody predicted this: not NASA, NOAA, ESA or IPS in Australia.”

It was not dense, and the filament released was hardly cause for concern.

“There is absolutely nothing in the history of […]

Signs of life on Venus?

All around the world are dawning headlines wondering if we have founds signs of life on Venus.

Despite the hunt for life on star systems that are lightyears from Earth, it turns out there may be something on the Planet-next-door. “May” being the operative word. A team found phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus and can’t think of any other way it could have got there. Phosphine is considered to be a biomarker. And microbes on Earth would have no trouble making it, though none of them could easily survive on Venus where the atmosphere clouds and rain are nearly pure hot sulphuric acid.*

Scientists find gas linked to life in atmosphere of Venus

Ian Sample, The Guardian

Sara Seager, a planetary scientist on the study at MIT in the US, called the finding “mind-boggling”. She hypothesises a lifecycle for Venusian microbes that rain down, dry out and are swept back up to more temperate altitudes by currents in the atmosphere.

For 2bn years, Venus was temperate and harboured an ocean. But today, a dense carbon dioxide atmosphere blankets a near-waterless surface where temperatures top 450C. The clouds in the sky are hardly inviting, […]

Apollo 11: The inside story of the glorious technical mastery, the risks, the leap

For those who want to immerse themselves in the engineering masterpiece of the Apollo 11 mission, Burt Rutan recommends this documentary series. A whole fascinating hour each. Burt Rutan is an aerospace engineer who has designed 46 aircraft, received six honorary doctoral degrees and hundreds of awards. If these documentaries can keep him interested …

Hail the brilliant technical minds that triumphed and the brave men who got there.

Only 12 men have walked on the moon and three out of four still alive are skeptics. Buzz Aldrin is an outspoken skeptic, as are other astronauts Harrison Schmidt, and Charles Duke. So is Australian born Phil Chapman (support crew, Apollo 14) and Walter Cunningham (Apollo 7). Burt Rutan too, of course.

Remember a time when NASA could achieve great things…

Part I: We choose to go to the moon: Hosted by Bill Whittle

Part II: The clock is running … ….

Burt Rutan says Part 3 and 4 are on the way.

The URLs:

Rutan warns that Google or Youtube searches may not find the series. Apparently Bill Whittle is too politically incorrect for them. At this point the Google search works with […]

Cosmic rays seeded clouds during the last geomagnetic reversal

That’s not in the models

The cosmic ray theory, Henrik Svensmark, (Click to enlarge)

What if our clouds are partly driven by a rain of cosmic radiation from far flung exploding stars… What if the warming on Earth had more to do with magnetic fields than with CO2? h/t GWPF

The Grand Mal test of Henrik Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory was 780,000 years ago when the poles on Earth flipped. For 5,000 wild years our magnetic shield was down to about a quarter of its normal strength. That would have allowed more cosmic rays to come streaking through the atmosphere down to the lowest part, crashing into molecules and generally busting things up in the air. Those ionised particles then seed clouds — in theory, which make an umbrella shade for the planet, keeping things cooler, and reflecting all that solar heat back into space. But how do we measure clouds that disappeared three quarters of a million years ago?

A team at Kobe University studied the patterns of monsoons in East Asia during the reversal. They argue that the extra low clouds would cause the winter monsoons to become stronger, so they looked closely at layers of dust […]

Landmark: First photo of a black hole (and Einstein was right)

A brief break in transmission now for the first photograph of a black hole, looking pretty much exactly as anyone would expect it to. The photons caught in this image traveled for hundreds of years at the speed of light. Lots of “hundreds” — burning through space for some 55 million years.

The numbers melt neurons: The supermassive black hole called M87 is 6.5 billion times bigger than our Sun. It’s bigger than the orbit of Neptune (which is circling 30 times further out from the Sun than we are). This star is 10 billion kilometers across.

Geoffrey Crew, a research scientist at Haystack Observatory commented that “With the M87 black hole being so massive, an orbiting planet would go around it within a week and be traveling at close to the speed of light.”

The black heart of Messier 87, or M87, a galaxy within the Virgo galaxy cluster, 55 million light years from Earth.

It takes a telescope roughly as big as The Earth to catch an image 20 micro-arcseconds across. Eight radio telescopes were combined across four continents and lined up on a few special days when they all had clear weather together. Each telescope took […]

NASA hides page saying the Sun was the primary climate driver, and clouds and particles are more important than greenhouse gases

ZeroHedge asks: What the hell are NASA Hiding?

The NASA site used to have a page titled “What are the primary forcings of the Earth system?“. In 2010 this page said that the Sun is the major driver of Earth’s climate, that it controls all the major aspects, and we may be on the cusp of an ice age. Furthermore NASA Science said things like clouds, albedo and aerosol behaviour can have more powerful cooling effects that outdo the warming effect of CO2.

Today that page says Share the science and stay connected, and “Access Denied”.


Whatever you do, don’t tell the world that NASA says the Sun is more important than CO2.

The Wayback Machine captured the same NASA “Primary Climate Forcings” link in 2010.

Click to enlarge.


Here’s the text from the original page (my bolding).

NASA 2010: What are the primary forcings of the Earth system?

The Sun is the primary forcing of Earth’s climate system. Sunlight warms our world. Sunlight drives atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns. Sunlight powers the process of photosynthesis that plants need to grow. Sunlight causes convection which carries warmth and water vapor up into […]

Solar cycles to blame for jellyfish plagues (not coal fired plants)

Image Erin Silversmith

Three amazing things in this story. One that solar cycles might influence the oceans to such an extent that jellyfish plagues are cycling in tune with the sun. Second is that the sun might control food for jellyfish on Earth somehow but have no effect on clouds, temperature or our climate (join the dots that expert climate models don’t). Third is that (briefly) there was actual scientific debate published on the ABC (even if only a few Australians were exposed to it). No one called anyone names, and both sides got to speak (albeit on different channels). Put it in your diary.

A couple of weeks ago on the ABC jellyfish were booming and it was because of climate change:

Jellyfish are causing mayhem as pollution, climate change see numbers boom

RN By Hong Jiang and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live

…the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers — and causing mayhem around the world.

Some scientists think jellyfish numbers are increasing as the climate changes — the creatures reproduce well in warmer waters.

Last year, Nick Kilvert of the ABC saw it as a […]

The Sahara may flip from desert to grass every 20,000 years. Blame The Sun.

MIT researchers think they have solved a bit of a mystery regarding Sahara dust, but if they’re right it means the Sahara Desert has already come and gone 3 – 5 times since humans walked the Earth. The Sahara is the largest desert on Earth, and this would be the largest and longest drought “ever” on the planet (as far as we know).

UPDATED: Commenter Javier points out these drying cycles were known years ago. (See below)

This would rather redefine the whole idea of “climate change” — 3.5 million square miles of Green Sahara turns into Dust-bowl Sahara — and it’s all thanks to sunlight. The drought doesn’t just last 7 years, but more like 7,000. And it’s happening over 9 million square kilometers, an area larger than Australia. The major climate models leaned towards the monsoonal cycle, rather than the longer ice age one. So this theory may have resolved one of the 495 contradictions in climate models. Or not. But the bigger message here is that the sun causes climate change and on a massive scale.

h/t to Roger Tallbloke.

The Sahara is the largest dust bowl in the world, dumping 10 million trucks of dust across […]

Solar Wind bombardment “worse than we thought”, but we *know* particles at 800km/s have No effect on our climate

Solar Wind, Earths magnetosphere. Image: NASA

The Solar Wind is a torrent of space weather cruising past at 500 — 800 kilometers per second which is around 1.5 million miles per hour or, if you prefer, Mach 2,000.* It’s so powerful it erodes rocks on Mars, ejects particles up high and creates a kind of atmosphere of tiny rock particles which we can study. Then it blows that Martian atmosphere away.

In this new research people realized it was not just the rain of tiny high-speed protons fritzing Mars at 800 km per second that were carving up the rocks — the main role was from the heavy and highly charged He2+. (Now there’s a molecule you don’t see too often).

You might think that a variable torrent of charged particles that are constantly changing speed and direction might have an impact on our atmosphere, but you’d be wrong (or at least, politically incorrect). On Earth the solar wind “just causes the northern lights”. How do we know? We’ve got climate models. In all known GCMs the total global forcing for solar wind is “zero”. Must be true.

Thus and verily the IPCC can conclude that a flow […]

Satellite going AWOL at 28,000km/hr — tracking that Chinese stray machinery

The ESA blog has this trajectory “prediction” (below). Given that the window of reentry stretches across a day and the object in question is doing 28,000 km per hour, we can say for sure this will hit Earth. (Or rather, some small part of the satellite that survives the burning up process will touchdown somewhere). Two weeks ago Roy Spencer predicted it will probably hit “the ocean” and explained why it is so difficult to estimate the actual impact point. It is circling the Earth every 89 minutes.

UPDATE: This was China’s first space station. Launched in 2011. It has two sleeping spots for astronauts, and was visited twice. View this as a mark of the rise of China. Though it also says something that China lost control/contact with it in March 2016. Tiangong-1 is only 8,500 kg. The Russian space station Mir was 120,000kg.

UPDATE #2: 3pm Watch the LIVE track at N2Yo (overloaded) or at SATview or Heavens Above.

UPDATED #3: Narrowing the risk map. Dr Marco Langbroek‏

Aerospace estimate is April 2 at 02:00 UTC ± 7 0:18 UTC ± 2 hours. (Current UTC time is 5:10pm, so seven-ish hours to go, more or less.) USA […]

Historic Eclipse will test US solar-power grid like … clouds do

Eclipse Map: NASA

Feel the panic. Or not.

Historic Eclipse Will Test America’s Grid as Solar Waxes, Wanes

Grid operators, utilities and electricity generators are bracing for more than 12,000 megawatts of solar power to start falling offline as the moon blocks out the sun across a 70-mile-wide (113-kilometer) corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.

This is the first major test of the power grid since America started bringing large amounts of intermittent solar and wind resources onto the system. It comes just as the grid is undergoing an unprecedented transformation whereby flexible resources such as battery storage will complement growing supplies of solar and wind.

Reader Andrew writes: “The path of totality is trivially narrow although the partial eclipse is quite wide. But they mustn’t have clouds in the US.”


Looks like it is being marketed as some kind of dummy run to “prove” intermittent energy will not hurt the grid when it “takes over”?

The celestial event provides an opportunity to test plants, software and markets refined in recent years in anticipation of the day when renewable energy becomes the dominant source of power.

Or perhaps it’s […]

The solar wind dumps energy into the far upper atmosphere through a kind of slow massive lightning

UPDATE: Libby Plummer at The Daily Mail has a different take, calling this a natural thermostat that cools the upper atmosphere after solar storms. I guess we’ll have to wait to see the paper to see if this can be connected to the global surface temperature at all.

The solar wind is is coming at us at a million miles an hour, but we really don’t know much about what happens when it weaves and buffets past us. In a news release NASA GISS describe how their traditional understanding of what is going on 150 miles up can sometimes just turn inside out. That’s “Revolutions in Understanding the Ionosphere, Earth’s Interface to Space”. It describes how energy from space weather can get into the ionosphere, and also muck up some of our satellites.

Despite climate models being sure that the Sun has hardly any effect, even NASA Giss admits there are some pretty wild things going on up there, and they are mostly due to the Sun. As the solar wind blasts in, it can set up a voltage difference between the upper layers of the atmosphere and the “magnetosphere”. A current will flow, discharging this energy into […]

The Solar Wind may be changing the surface temperature of the North Atlantic

Could it be the missing key? The solar wind blasts charged particles, electrons, stuff, towards Earth at 500 km a second — that’s one to two million miles per hour. It speeds up, slows down and shifts in direction as it travels past the Earth and has its own magnetic field. The wind speed varies from 300 km per second up to 800 and the impact on Earth changes with our magnetic field and our seasons. You might think this kind of monster flow might have some effect on our climate. But modern climate models are 95% certain that none of this matters. Only crazy people would think that a electrons flying past at a million miles per hour could “do something” to our stratosphere, or ozone, or cloud cover.

Curiously, a recent study shows that when the solar wind is fastest, the North Atlantic is coldest on the surface. The NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) appears to correlate. The effect is strongest in the northern winter months. Notably the modern expert climate models fail to predict any of the cycles within our major ocean basins. How immature is our understanding of space weather?

Could changes in the solar wind be […]