A Space Weather Sunnet

Aside from an unfortunate scarcity of a few minor items like jobs, money, and political civility, we enjoy a great abundance of just about everything else.

Just think of all the things that surround us in much larger numbers than we could ever need –

Celebrities
Colleges
Supermarkets
Automakers
Medical Syndromes
Goldilocks Planets
Electronic Devices
Sports Stadiums
Coffee Shops
Things to Worry About

And on the “worries” front, there’s a fresh new ulcer maker to consider – an unsettling universal calamity, so to speak – Bad Space Weather.

Haven’t checked the Space Weather today? You thought the cold and icy slush close to ground was enough to temper your enthusiasm? There can be so much more!

One morning I heard this on the news:  “Today we’ll experience the effects of a massive solar storm with a tsunami wave of charged solar particles washing over the Earth at around 8 am central time, all the result of a Coronal Mass Ejection that happened on Sunday.”

Whats in a Coronal Mass Ejection? All sorts of bad, radioactive stuff that can amp up the northern lights but doesn’t make it down to our level, thanks to our planet’s natural defenses.

Which doesn’t mean we can’t go into a tizzy over it.   But in spite of the occasional alarms that go out, Space Weather just doesn’t seem as immediate as stuff that’s closer to the skin. If only the great poets would romanticize it, perhaps Space Weather would seem more real.

With sincere apologies to Shakespeare, and anyone who loves him:

Shall I compare thee to a solar flare?
Thou art more lovely and less violent
Solar winds may tilt Earth’s elastic air,
Gaudy northern lights, while bright, are silent:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion blotched;
And whilst he rises and too soon declines,
He cannot ever be directly watched.
But thy eternal visage may be seen
With all thy bling and fancy articles
By naked eyes alone, without sunscreen
or visors to deflect charged particles.
Looks that thrill direct or in reflections
Outshining Coronal Mass Ejections

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