'Solar bullet' to hit Earth

2012-01-24 07:27

Cape Town - Charged particles from the sun will strike the Earth on Tuesday after a huge solar flare erupted on Monday.

The M9-class solar flare was observed by Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory and erupted from a sunspot on Monday at 05:59, reported.

The coronal mass ejection or CME is travelling to Earth at 2 200km/s which means that it could potentially cause communications disruptions to networks on the planet that could include disabling satellites in its path.

In the polar regions people could observe spectacular auroras, that may even be visible at lower latitudes.

The CME may have a particular impact in South Africa because of the South Atlantic Anomaly where the Earth's magnetic field is weakest.

The CME is scheduled to hit at about 16:18 on Tuesday and South Africans should take care to avoid being exposed directly to the sun.

Update here

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  • Deon - 2012-01-24 07:42

    I live in Cape Town and thought it happened last week.

      Hallo - 2012-01-24 12:12

      You live in Cape Town and are a bit delayed.

      simondgie - 2012-01-24 12:25

      If it happened LAST week, how can he be delayed? Idiot.

      Mark - 2012-01-24 12:45

      bwahahahaha Simodgie I think you are the idiot read the original comment from Deon and Hallo again, Hallo I like your humor

      Ed - 2012-01-24 12:49

      simon the budgie boy...learn to take a joke tosser, or is everyone in cape town so 'uptight' pun intended:)

      BassmasterSA - 2012-01-24 13:19

      Ed, not everyone in Cape Town is uptight... only those who moved here from up country... ;)

      Lucian Peffer - 2012-01-24 14:17

      Lol, it sounds like good old propaganda... From the media. Before I even tried to reply to your post news24 wanted to access my info. Wow. Wonder why. I read this entire thread and it seems that there are many willing to roll over and accept what they are fed, sad really. Now I don't want to really bring truth church into this but it is evident that a lot or all can be swayed into wich ever way these people want them to be in. Wake up people. Please. Its for your own good.

      Ingrid - 2012-01-24 14:34

      This to to Hallo: WHATEVER

      skootzie - 2012-01-24 14:57

      That's it? That was your reply? "Whatever" .. how very engaging and mature; I look forward to seeing more posts that reflect the depth of your wondrous mind.

      Jacques - 2012-01-24 15:09

      like u said u live in cape town...hehehe

      JohnRock076 - 2012-01-24 21:10

      In cape town everything happened last week.

      Kevin - 2012-02-26 15:50

      That was a flare from a boat.

  • Zion - 2012-01-24 07:44

    I see a bad sun rising I see our troubles everywhere Don't go out today The sun is on its way Yay, a bad sun on the rise.

      Ja - 2012-01-24 08:10

      Well done .. i would love to meet the two A holes that gave you thumbs down ..

      PyroSA - 2012-01-24 10:44

      Maiming good lyrics like that could warrant a downward thumb.

      Brent - 2012-01-24 11:12

      doesnt beat 'a bad moon rising'

      donald.l.thunder - 2012-01-24 12:19


      sallyroos - 2012-01-24 12:57

      always helps to put some humor in situations..... Love it!

      skootzie - 2012-01-24 14:35

      donald.l.thunder : Your caps lock broken? - In any event, I don't recall Zion claiming the words were correct in any way? It's called paraphrasing. The words were changed to suit the situation.

      Ja - 2012-01-24 15:18

      At last .. some sense .. Zion you are in trouble .. you never used the right(write) words .. oh to hell with them .. keep up the good work ..

      Zion - 2012-01-24 18:34

      Donald.I.thunder: Credence Clearwater Revival remains one of the best ever bands. I have been following them since the early 1970's and own most of their music.

  • Mark - 2012-01-24 07:45

    Time to get out that factor 15 then for just after lunch.

      mnbain - 2012-01-24 09:11

      Factor 50 ;-) more like it

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-01-24 09:44

      if it is 14h18 gmt, it would be 16h18 SA time... we are GMT +2. so unless you are planning a long lunch...

      Schmee - 2012-01-24 10:44

      Oh drat and there I was planning to have a lovely swim with a sundowner cocktail in one hand.

      Mandy - 2012-01-24 11:06

      @frans.visserdsb. THANKS for clarifying the time issue. I started stressing at the thought of my son outside on a construction site in the sun having left sunblock etc at home today. :-)

      halicon76 - 2012-01-24 12:13

      This is classed as an S3 solar storm. Had the journalist done some research he would have noted there is ZERO risk to most things. And my god south africans in general are daft.

      Marilet - 2012-01-24 14:35

      @halicon76 - opposed to people from the moon?

  • Peter - 2012-01-24 07:47

    Can't even see the sun in JHB today, too many clouds, Thunder storms, rain showers etc.

      raath - 2012-01-24 09:17

      The clouds will only diffuse the radiation, not block it.

  • Gideon - 2012-01-24 07:55

    Ooh yay, can't wait. Guess I'll get the popcorn out then.

      Brett - 2012-01-24 08:12

      Just leave it on the windowsill. It'll get popped around about 14h18 GMT ;)

  • Adrian - 2012-01-24 07:56

    And so Twitter will be disabled this afternoon........damn! How can I tweet to my followers if communications will be disrupted?

      chris.debeer1 - 2012-01-24 10:58

      Malema told you he is going to close it down hehe

  • kosmonooit - 2012-01-24 07:57

    Too bad we don't get to see the associated Aurorae

  • Mark - 2012-01-24 08:07

    GMT +2 = 16:18. Never been sunburnt after 4.

      PyroSA - 2012-01-24 10:44

      Gonna be tough staying out the sun at home time :/

  • robbieyahu - 2012-01-24 08:12

    this is not a first in the past 3 years there have been a few .... the mainline media simply ignored it ..but we saw planes crashing for apparently no reason even here in south africa .... wake-up they are not telling us everything ..

      rob4e - 2012-01-24 08:19

      Break out the tinfoil hats!

      Squeegee - 2012-01-24 08:36

      The aliens are coming! The aliens are coming!

      rurapenthe - 2012-01-24 09:52

      Its the Borg! they fired a cobalt torpedo into the sun to cause that flare so we dont see them coming. Free assimilation for everyone!

      tony.delucchi - 2012-01-24 10:36

      ...aha conspiracy, is your cat not an alien keeping tabs on you....they are not speaking!

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-24 12:10

      @Rob4e - I think the tinfoil will compound the issue - ever put foil in a Microwave? *Poof!*

      mninawa - 2012-01-24 12:45

      its darth vader... playing golf...

      rob4e - 2012-01-24 14:26

      @ Aardvarkie...sssshhh maybe we can get a couple killed in the process!

  • mail.gareth.morgan - 2012-01-24 08:15

    If a few drops of rain affect my DSTV signal I would hate to see what this does ! lol

  • Johan - 2012-01-24 08:40

    'a particular impact in South Africa'. Blame it on apartheid lol

      Ewan - 2012-01-24 09:04

      @Rob, try have a sense of humour

      Marlene - 2012-01-24 11:45

      @Rob - Lighten up man:)

      skootzie - 2012-01-24 12:44

      Some people should just stay off the internet. Rob, just a little FYI, "lol" means "Laugh(ing) Out Loud" and is used to denote a statement as humorous (note: whether you find the statement humorous or not is irrelevant).

      mninawa - 2012-01-24 13:05

      its aliens way of bringing new innovation on out for new tenderprenuers...

      ftoefyjacobs - 2012-01-24 14:18

      lol...gud 1

  • Mark John Mollentze - 2012-01-24 08:48

    whooohooo every1 ouside @ 4 will be B.E.E compliant

  • Mark John Mollentze - 2012-01-24 08:49

    tisk tisk.... just remembered Malemas crops

  • Ofentse - 2012-01-24 09:15

    Only today they warn us to avoid being exposed directly to the sun, The CME is been hitting us for 1000 years and you wonder why I'm black and the Europeans are white...Mystery solved...!!!

      Marius Koen - 2012-01-24 09:22

      Lol. Good one!

      simondgie - 2012-01-24 12:28


      HendrikAfrika - 2012-01-24 12:43

      Te brain is closest to the sun, makes one think. You should stop consulting your ancesstors, they also did not wear hats.

  • daryltt - 2012-01-24 09:30

    The coronal mass ejection or CME is travelling to Earth at 2 200km/s which means that it could potentially cause communications disruptions to networks on the pla........ *hisssssssss*

      jack.oosthuysen - 2012-01-24 11:26

      No dstv, only SABC channels IF there is electicity.

  • Duane.visser1303 - 2012-01-24 09:39

    All gingers kindly stay indoors

      eileen.debeer1 - 2012-01-24 14:15


  • Daniel - 2012-01-24 09:39

    @Deon - Cape town it behind the rest of SA, not in front of it....

  • Anthony - 2012-01-24 09:49

    Floods in Kruger, The Sun shooting bullets at us...The Mayans were right its 2012...

      mninawa - 2012-01-24 13:07

      Where is the Ark? I wanna go and halfjack it...

      cwboshoff - 2012-01-24 13:57

      lol, you can have the ark... It will be on FIRE soon. :)

  • yvonnecraig.linton - 2012-01-24 10:08

    Beam us up Scotty !!

  • Rainbow - 2012-01-24 10:08

    Well then it is a good thing it is overcast here in Durban.

      Koos - 2012-01-24 12:01

      thats when u burn the most.... the clouds act as a magnifying glass..... a cloudy burn is more painfull that direct sunlight!!! ask the fisherman!

  • charlkeehn - 2012-01-24 10:15

    Maybe just maybe, it's the start of the end hoping it's the start to a new beginning

  • swanky217 - 2012-01-24 10:28

    apparently the world is coming to an end in December... maybe this is the start

      kiri - 2012-01-24 13:12

      Oh yes, that! That happened last year already didn't it?

      karen.glautier - 2012-01-24 14:00

      Yes, in May and again in October.... Oh darn, I missed it.... my mom always said I'd be late for my own funeral! Lol

  • DeWet - 2012-01-24 10:32

    2012 its starting to happen...... LOL

  • yolande.fleming - 2012-01-24 10:35

    Time for Global Dynamics to step in, seems we are in Eureka!

      JohnRock076 - 2012-01-24 21:09

      Mwhahaha.. It is Walternate's master plan to upset our universe

  • ClaudsClosest - 2012-01-24 10:39

    2200km/s !!! Where can I hitch a ride on this thing ?!?!?

      Whitty - 2012-01-24 15:01

      It seems you crave speed ClaudsClosest. :-))

  • Schmee - 2012-01-24 10:49

    Are we allowed to talk about this. Doesn't this somehow fit in with talking about the weather? Is this an official warning?

      aardvarkie - 2012-01-24 12:13

      Hahaha! True - I forgot about the "legal" issue of announcing weather warnings. - 2012-01-24 12:58

      I agree@ Schmee, if it were such a hectic occurance, we should have been blasted on the news with reports, never mind the weather man/lady

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-24 10:56

    So it's 12:18 SA time?

      Odin - 2012-01-24 10:59


      rob4e - 2012-01-24 14:32

      I gave you one like because I felt sorry for you

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-24 11:13

    Yes, and during what is known to be the quietest solar activity periods in history, whats the real truth?

  • Jo - 2012-01-24 11:26

    Wahahaha I am going to stand in the sun on purpose at 14:18 and record how I get balsted by a solar bullet. Wahahahaha!

      JohnSA02 - 2012-01-24 11:59

      At 14:18 you'd be two hrs early! GMT, not local.

  • mandy.j.cooke - 2012-01-24 11:27

    "The sky is falling! The sky is falling" said Chicken Little

  • fareed.hoosen - 2012-01-24 11:29

    Jokes aside people..does anyone know how this is gonna affect telecommunication after the event? or during the event..At that speed, the satellites over Africa will definitely be affected. SATSTAR,etc? anyone have any info? what are we looking at?

  • Nicholas Arulnathan - 2012-01-24 11:35

    A twisted tail!! A thousand eyes! trapped forever!EPA! EPA ! EPA!

  • Grace - 2012-01-24 11:36

    Duck ! Hide.......

  • wayne.warren83 - 2012-01-24 11:37

    I'm going to stand outside when it hits, maybe I'll get superpowers

      HendrikAfrika - 2012-01-24 12:49

      Depends, do you want some BEE powers?

  • Kevin - 2012-01-24 11:41

    Wonder if eskom will jump on the bandwagen and do some load shedding and blame it on the sun???

      brettdelport - 2012-01-24 12:11

      well, power grids are actually subjected to damage during these types of events.

      Jaco - 2012-01-24 14:58

      They already started at my house this morning!!

      J-Man - 2012-01-24 16:18

      Yes Kevin...what you say is totally plausible and has happened before...

  • Wkotze22 - 2012-01-24 11:46

    i find it hard to believe the media these days... dont know y?

  • Marlene - 2012-01-24 11:48

    I'm so enjoying the comments on this article. Nice change to the intense, serious, debates sometimes going on. I was smiling all the way down the comment section.

  • amilia.jonas - 2012-01-24 11:52


  • amilia.jonas - 2012-01-24 11:53


  • somarie123 - 2012-01-24 11:54

    didnt the movie say South Africa will be safe from 2012?? ...

      Koos - 2012-01-24 12:03

      nope.... but the drakensberge was the first to appear...... to me highest point in RSA is Dullstroom, so that is your safest bet!

      somarie123 - 2012-01-24 12:28

      i stay close 2 the drakensberge ... harrismith ... so im the safest :P

  • Marnes van der Walt - 2012-01-24 11:56

    I have life cover for 10 rand a minute !! So hurry up guys !! Lol

  • Koos - 2012-01-24 12:03

    LOL.... where do we board those arcs!!!

  • somarie123 - 2012-01-24 12:04

    when i walked 2 work this moring around 7:45am the sun was already a scortcher ...

  • brettdelport - 2012-01-24 12:10

    Wow, I cannot believe that this level of sensationalism makes it onto this news site. I am a Space Researcher, and I don't think there is any danger to biological life on Earth. Don't plan any trips to space for this time though...

      Vivienne Schultz - 2012-01-24 12:15

      Well done! Agree totally! Anything for sensation these days!

  • Jacques Hoffman - 2012-01-24 12:14

    Will be checking the skies! Now doubt

  • Roxanne Darine Van Wyk - 2012-01-24 12:15

    What happens,happens! Why is everyone making this stupid comments,just believe in God,when its time its time,what's the dif if you die in a car accident or world end you will die!

      HendrikAfrika - 2012-01-24 12:57

      I don't want to start my eternal life so close to hot sun activities.

  • Two.Oceans.Aviation - 2012-01-24 12:23

    Well although it is rated at the very top level of the lower measurement scale ( M9 ) it is said to be moving in a generally northward direction so its effects will be minimized. I would still suggest switching off any important electrical appliances using transformers to power them. Perhaps use a cheap radio to test the effects. The last CME of this strength lasted nearly a week. Enjoy it !!!!

  • sonja.sparbier - 2012-01-24 12:26

    cant this wait till after my meeting

      Yolanda Polson - 2012-01-24 12:59

      Sound like the perfect time to get a permanent tan...

  • Mike - 2012-01-24 12:27

    Hope it just hits Luthuli House :-)

  • arno.west - 2012-01-24 12:32

    2012, FEEL IT, IT IS HERE!!!or what was the world cups slogan?