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Solar storm headed for Earth may disrupt GPS and power grids

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 8 Mar 2012

A large coronal mass ejection (CME) is headed for Earth and has the potential to disrupt power grids, communication networks including GPS and flights.

Travelling at 4 million miles per hour, the charged particles are expected to start hitting Earth late this morning. Solar flares can trip electrical power grids and disrupt satellites including GPS as well as other radio communication systems including cell phone networks.

This latest activity increases the chance that Aurora (Northern Lights) may be visible in parts of the UK.

This event is expected to last until Friday and, with the sun entering its the active stage of its 11-year cycle, more flares are likely.

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Posted by spook51 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:58 am Reply with quote

Oh dear, oh dear.... this is guaranteed to bring the keyboard warriors out in force, "I paid good money for my TomTom/Garmin/Navigon and it's gone berserk/completely dead/ told me to drive over a cliff/through a wall/into a river. It's a load of ****, I demand a refund...!"

Of course there's always a remote change that it might behave completely normally but let's not let that get in the way of an entertaining solar flare forum frenzy. Pity it's not April 1st, think what fun could be had suggesting remedies - tin foil hat anyone?

Posted by pdfbt40 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:41 am Reply with quote

Or as the the same Met Office spokesman said :

"But he added that the phenomenon was likely to go unnoticed by most."

Posted by theripper on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:12 pm Reply with quote

Could this be the reason why my TT took nearly 15 minutes to get a signal this morning even though it was in exactly the same position as it was when I turned it off last night? Smile

Posted by Guivre46 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:30 pm Reply with quote

No, I expect you had nylon underwear on today, and cotton ones yesterday?

Mike R [aka Wyvern46]
Go 530T - unsupported
Go550 Live [not renewed]
Kia In-dash Tomtom

Posted by pdfbt40 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:29 pm Reply with quote

... and as reported on BBC.....This is the largest ECM for 5 years !!

That in itself is strange as that should have been a low in the activity cycle. Or maybe its that the 11 year cycle has to be averaged over a couple of centuries.

Who sells nylon underwear ?


Posted by Guivre46 on Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:54 pm Reply with quote

5,260,000 results on google. Not all suitable for a family forum.

Try These

I know very Off Topic

Mike R [aka Wyvern46]
Go 530T - unsupported
Go550 Live [not renewed]
Kia In-dash Tomtom

Posted by JG on Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:20 pm Reply with quote

Guivre46 Wrote:
No, I expect you had nylon underwear on today, and cotton ones yesterday?

Ha Ha Ha

I don't have nylon underwear either, but same problem.

Yesterday no signal going to work (North Hampshire area) and this evening a very intermittent signal.

Using a TomTom Go Live 1000 bought in October 2011 and fine till now.

I think it's the solar flare, but always willing to try new underwear.

and sorry I havn't posted for ages.....

Posted by M8TJT on Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:28 pm Reply with quote

and sorry I havn't posted for ages.....

According to the thingy with your username in it on the right, that was your first post. Changed your username????

Posted by JG on Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:43 pm Reply with quote

Laughing Out Loud - off topic - but my post count is up to 2 now. I haven't "changed" my username, but possibly posted as JohnRG or something like that. Then I had a computer crash and hadnt logged in for a while and forgot my details - to cut a long story short, I used this ID long ago when I wanted to refer to something and found had written this one down so logged in today.

You were all were very helpful back then, and things are still the same, I'll investigate the nylons, Ha Ha Ha

Posted by nwinton on Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:48 am Reply with quote

No signal for me last night.
Zumo 550 in Camden asked all the questions...
Was I inside?
Was the date 8th March?
Was I hundreds of miles away from my last location?
Drove home 40 minutes and still couldn't get a lock.
I hadn't put 2 and 2 together until I read the post this morning...
Lucky I knew my way and just used the Zumo to listen to tunes on the bike ride home ;-)

Posted by matthewj on Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:00 pm Reply with quote

I was driving from 10am through 1am on Thursday. Tootling along the motorway, my TomTom lost signal and went all grey. Checked the time, 11:55. Oooh I thought, I wonder if GPS did get hit? No tunnel, bridge or anything to have caused it. Still out after 30 secs, so I went to the GPS info page, and all ten (approx) of the satellites were under the line in signal strength. about a minute later I got lock again and it carried on.

Perhaps I was suffering from one of those blocking transmitters, but it seems the world is still working. Phew.

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