Today, the Earth could feel the effects of three X-class solar flares that erupted off the solar surface earlier this week. Coupled with last night's full moon (visible on the East Coast) this Friday the Thirteenth could be an especially terrifying day for the superstitious.
Each of the bursts of radiation — two of which happened on Tuesday, the third on Wednesday — was about 10,000 times stronger than normal solar flares. The massive blasts sent out coronal mass ejections, or waves of plasma made up mostly of electrons and protons, which briefly mess with the Earth's magnetic sphere. They prompted an hour-long radio blackout that thwarted all high-frequency radio communication. If we do see a storm today, the effects will likely be less pronounced, and won't cause a real disturbance. According to LiveScience, however, a stronger storm could be kind of cool:
A particularly powerful storm can create geomagnetic currents that interrupt power grids and throw off magnetic compasses, scientists have said. The storms can also produce auroras, the beautiful displays known as the Northern Lights. A powerful storm can supercharge auroras outside their normal latitude ranges, with some spectacular displays visible as far south as Texas.
Even the specter of a small solar storm adds to this Friday the 13th's especially occult nature. Last night we saw a full moon, the first time the symbolic phase occurred on the same morning as the symbolic date in 14 years. The two won't overlap again until 2049.
In the meantime, we recommend reviewing the lore of the lone wolf t-shirt. It might give you some ideas about how to battle a werewolf in the event of a massive radio outage.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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