Ask Professor Wiseasski
The Solar Tsunami
A while back the news covered a story about the Northern Lights being visible further south than normal, due to sun activity. A friend of mine sent me an email about it.
“I looked at the Prescott sky last night and saw what looked like a faint tunnel cloud across the sky. It was the darndest thing. What are those special lights supposed to look like? Please respond in 300 pages or less. – K”
Here is the response to her:
I will start at the beginning, then I will skip to near the end. BANG!!!! (Well, at least that is one theory of the beginning.)
Moving forward to now, we know that our sun is a huge, boiling blob and it spits out stuff, just like a pot of spaghetti sauce boiling on the stove. It will spatter tomato sauce and juices and bits of spices and herbs in all directions. One of those very recent spitting outs, from the sun not the spaghetti sauce, spat directly at the Earth.
So ... here’s what could happen when that wad of spit hits us: it’ll be like a huge tsunami wave rolling in from the ocean, but instead of just water with a little salt in it, it is filled with strange, electromagnetically charged particles. Now, if It is a tsunami in the ocean and if that tsunami comes right at you, it can run up on your beach there in paradise and knock down your thatched roof house.
Now I do not want to get too technical for you here, but a tsunami of solar waves is a different animal, full of weird stuff, like neutrons and ions and eons and other stuff like that. And those things can interfere in some way with the protons and neutrons and morons and other types of matter that we already have here on, and around, Earth.
So, this tsunami first manifests itself by glowing in the atmosphere like a neon light show. That is the cool part. But then it starts screwing with electrical gadgets and radio waves and things stop working right. Things like our communication satellites. Then it gets around to the rays like UVs and UVAs and Bs and increases your chances of going blind with macular degeneration and developing cataracts, so you better hope you have your sunglasses on at that point. And then thee are the trouble causing Xs.
Of course, when those X-rays, hit you, they will just go right through you just like getting an X-ray at the doctor’s office on your whole body all at once. I do not know how many X rays you have had lately, but they seem to be coming at me fairly regularly. And no one seems to really know how many of those you can have a year without getting sick or mutating into another life form. But we just got another one, courtesy of the Sun deciding to spit at us.
So, here is the sun, suddenly aiming one right at us … spitting directly into the "blue eye of earth" and maybe that ought to be telling us something. Maybe somebody or something is pissed … and trying to either pick a fight, straighten us out, or maybe just letting us know the end is getting near.
Danged if I know which.
I can’t figure out for sure if we need to start a movement to put up some kind of big defense mirror out there in space to reflect it back to them, or to get down on our knees and pray and promise to do better, or to just get our affairs in order in case our entire existence comes to an end.
Being conservative, I am going to hedge the bet and do at least two out of the three.
Oh! …. K! … I just re-read your message … you simply asked me what those special lights are supposed to look like.
Well, from the Prescott sky at night, one would have seen what looked like a faint tunnel cloud across the sky, like a darndest thing. Did that answer your question? -Tom.
If you want a simple answer, ask a simple man.