CME hits earth tonight

Tomorrow morning at one am, the X-9.3 solar flare’s earth directed component of the coronal mass ejection (CME) is due to hit earth.  A second, smaller, X-class flare occurred today.

Space Weather Live– // We see a clear asymmetrical full halo coronal mass ejection with the bulk of the CME heading well towards the south-east. It does seem that sunspot region 2673 has rotated a bit too far to the west already for a real head on collision with the plasma cloud. Nonetheless there is a clear earth-directed component and an impact is likely to occur.

We estimate the bulk speed of this coronal mass ejection to be in the 1.700 to 1.800km/s range which is fairly fast but the flanks do seem quite a bit slower which makes this a very tricky situation. We also need to factor in the M5.5 CME which is still on it’s way as that will also affect how much the X9 CME will decelerate. All in all a very complex situation but we estimate that a 42 hour transit from the Sun to Earth seems plausible meaning the plasma cloud could arrive at Earth around 06:00 UTC this Friday, 8 September 2017. As always there is a healthy amount of uncertainty with these impact times but it should give a rough idea when to expect enhanced geomagnetic conditions. //


Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias, or the logical fallacy of “affirming the consequent,” is always a danger in science. We see a glaring example of it in those who are emotionally committed to asserting that the earth is flat, and then interpret all data by the assumption that the earth is flat.  Also, we see it in the scientific community and its emotional commitment to the required dogma that nothing whatever did magic and turned itself into organic goo, which then did more magic and turned itself into people over millions of years. Other unquestionable emotional commitments are found in various scientific disciplines, including cosmology. No emotional commitment is more generally found among scientists and even the general public than that to the Copernican Principle.

Measuring gravity for the layman

The company Kern Precision Scales is trying to prove that gravity varies (not “weight,” which is measured for practical use according to a standard) by shipping a scale and a gnome of known mass over the world. Scientists set up the scale and report the weight the scale reads for the gnome. However, there is no way to know that the differences are due to gravity and not to shipping vibration or other causes. Once again, there is no experiment to prove changes in gravity. This one could work, if they had proved that the scale always weighs the gnome the same exact reading at the factory, even after having been shipped over the world. This is apparently nothing but a marketing publicity stunt.

Buy equator, sell poles

In an article from Cornell University, a lady astronomer tells us that centrifugal force caused by the rotation of the earth would make a weight at the pole to be 0.5% less on the equator. 200 pounds at the poles would be 199 at the equator. I wonder if anyone has actually done an experiment to see if the math works.

Seems like this would violate any standard of weights and measures. Something in Alaska would weigh more than the same thing in the U. S. Virgin Islands. Is this really true? Does an ingot of aluminum weighing 200 pounds at the poles only weigh 199 pounds at the equator? Or is somebody pulling our leg? I can’t find anything about it in the National Bureau of Standards publication on calibration of weighing devices.

The standard of weight would have to be used at the poles or the equator, and no difference could be determined. There is no way to do an experiment. The statement that weights are different is essentially meaningless.

Electric fossilization

“The piece was pure clear silica inside. It was covered with a rougher opaque crust of partially fused sand. The tree, whose stump was petrified, was alive five years ago! After the tree was cut down to accommodate the right of way for a new power transmission line, an accidental break allowed the high-voltage wire to contact several tree stumps still in the ground. The power was shut off within hours of the break. All of the tree roots which contacted the broken wire were fossilized.”
–Eric Milton