Just when you thought your tech problems couldn’t get much worse…

Space Weather News for Sept. 2, 2009

GEOMAGNETIC MEGASTORM: Northern Lights swept over Cuba and Hawaii. Telegraph offices caught fire.  Earth’s magnetic field shook for nearly a week. That’s what happened 150 years ago today when our planet experienced a shocking "geomagnetic megastorm."  Could it happen again? Today’s story on explores the possibilities. 

VANISHING MOONS OF JUPITER:  Tonight, Sept. 2nd and 3rd, for the first time in many years, [alakaZAM!] the moons of Jupiter are going to disappear. At least that’s how it will seem when Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto line up in front of and behind the giant planet. A casual look through a backyard telescope will show no moons at all. The 2-hour vanishing act begins at 9:43 p.m PDT on Sept. 2nd (4:43 UT on Sept. 3rd). Check a sky map, animations and more information.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Global Killer Asteroid Questions. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Supertradmom says:

    Isn’t there scientific talk about the jumping of the entire magnetic field, from north to south, or from a north-south polarity to an east-west one? That would mess things up.

  2. Gabriella says:

    As I scan the night sky (after reading Fr. Z’s post), the centuries fall away, and I feel myself taking my place in line with other men and women who have done the same thing since God created man …
    Why do people search the sky? What’s in it for them?

  3. granitroc says:

    Over the last four centuries, earth’s magnetic field has been measurably diminishing (yes it can be measured). Many geophysicists believe this is a prelude to pole reversal (the north magentic pole will flip to the south and vice versa). Tracking earth’s magnetic field has been over too short a period to ascertain whether the flip will be gradual (over decades, centuries, or millenia) or nearly instantaneously (say a year or less). An old textbook of mine cites a 1965 study estimating the field was decreasing at the rate of .05% per year.

    Since the earth’s field shields all living things from cosmic rays, the loss of field strength will cause more radiation to hit the earth and would result in more genetic mutations. While magnetic compasses may become obsolete and GPS will substitute, other unintended consequences could occur too. Many birds are thought to migrate using built-in magnetic compassess! I’m sure sci-fi fans could come up with all kinds of doom and gloom!

    On the plus side, we are in for a great light show!

  4. Tina in Ashburn says:

    I really think geomagnetic stuff is fascinating. It affects so much, of which we are unaware. The cells in our body, the overall disposition of our bodies, to the effect a moving body of water has on magnetic charge in the ground around it, the grids covering the earth [ever notice how animals tread the same paths in a pasture, through the woods?] … its just so cool!!

    yea, one big magnetic disturbance and all our digital stuff goes kaflooey. Hope y’all have a manual meat grinder to replace your electric food processors. haha!!

    Gotta go find my tinfoil hat.

  5. joan ellen says:

    “The cells in our body, the overall disposition of our bodies,…”

    Same problem with emfs from our cell phones, laptops and cars, etc. having the same kind of negative effects…

    Anyone interested can download (free)as a screen saver an image, that seems to be working some on my laptop, to minimize emf emittance.
    Google: emf biofield protector

    Am also ordering emf tabs of two types: those that help protect our body and those that alter the harmonic frequencies at the source.

    I hope this comment is o.k. Fr.

  6. tioedong says:


    sounds almost like the aurora before World War II…

Comments are closed.