What’s up in space: Dragon makes a splash

I always wonder about the astrological influence of solar storms. There are a lot of them these days, and we have a friend who tracks the issue so I’m constantly getting updates. She’s aware that if one of these things hits the power grid just right, we could have a rather large blackout. This must influence our gadgets somehow — and our brains.

Space News reported: “Solar protons accelerated by this morning’s M9-class solar flare are streaming past Earth. On the NOAA scale of radiation storms, this one ranks S3, which means it could, e.g., cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications. An example of satellite effects: The ‘snow’ in this SOHO coronagraph movie is caused by protons hitting the observatory’s onboard camera.”

Gee, I was wondering what all that stuff flying around the frame was. I didn’t think it was UFOs and that’s way too many bits to be comets. I have a buddy who is a hardcore deep space photographer, who has to deal with those bits of energy all the time because of the kind of work he does. His name is Anthony Ayiomamitis (and you will love his website). I asked him what influence he thinks solar ejections (CMEs) might have on consciousness. Here is what he said.

“CME’s are something very serious and powerful. You are literally seeing the Sun eject its mass and which helps seed the solar system with particles which lead to the ionization of elements in our atmosphere and, hence, for auroral activity.”

He added, “If something gets really out of hand in relation to CME’s, there are some very serious consequences in relation to satellites in orbit and/or electrical grids around the world. There was a nasty incident in Quebec (Canada) where the entire province had a black-out due to a massive CME about ten years ago. With satellites, it can literally wipe out their electronics.”

So — I’m guessing we could, if we wanted, track a human effect. What I take from his description is the line, “You are literally seeing the Sun eject its mass and which helps seed the solar system with particles.” If the Sun is about creative expression, here we have model for how it might work.

Now, astrology functions in metaphors as well as in literal interpretations. In other words, to an astronomer, an eclipse is an eclipse (judged by its duration, exactitude, etc.) but to astrologers we care with sign it’s in — that is, what direction in space, for what seem on the surface like metaphorical reasons.

There is not really an archer out in Sagittarius or a crab walking around in Cancer. But — we care anyway. Now, without getting into what sign this thing influences (judging from the movie above, it looks like at least seven signs), the idea of a big burst of energy from the Sun would seem relevant. The Sun represents expression, and here we see the Sun expressing itself rather boldly. So this could push our creativity, it could mean extra hot and horny, it could mean inspired, it could mean an expanded sense of presence.

This incident happened with the Sun in Aquarius, the day of the New Moon, and the Chinese Year of the Dragon beginning; and on the day that Mars is stationing retrograde. But my question to you is, how are you feeling? How is your expressive/repressive quotient?

Meanwhile, the science background, as reported by Space News, is that this morning, Jan. 23rd around 0359 UT, big sunspot 1402 erupted, producing a long-duration M9-class solar flare. The explosion’s M9-ranking puts it on the threshold of being an X-flare, the most powerful kind. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the flare’s extreme ultraviolet flash (photo of that is over at Planet Waves).

They note, “Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab say the leading edge of the CME will reach Earth on Jan. 24 at 14:18UT (+/- 7 hours). Their animated forecast track shows that Mars is in the line of fire, too; the CME will hit the Red Planet during the late hours of Jan. 25.”

Mars is in the line of fire because the Earth, Mars and the Sun are all aligned right now (that’s what “Mars retrograde” means).For the next 24 hours, Earth’s magnetic field reverberated from the impact, stirring bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.

Bjørn Jørgensen observed this display from Tromsø, Norway: “This was amazing,” he says. “It was a wonderful experience to see these stunning auroras.”

NOAA forecasters estimate a 10% – 25% chance of continued geomagnetic storms tonight as effects from the CME impact subside. The odds will increase again on Jan. 24-25 as a new CME (from today’s M9-clare) approaches Earth. High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras.

From the astrology department, I suggest remaining alert for orgasmic auroras of inspiration.