Over the last few days, there was a large solar flare event that was heavily reported in the media. Solar flares are nothing new and just one of the reasons that mother nature is so wonderful and interesting.
It got me wondering of course, what does this mean when it comes to the paranormal?
Solar flares are large eruptions of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun lasting from minutes to hours. The sudden outburst of electromagnetic energy travels at the speed of light, therefore any effect upon the sunlit side of Earth’s exposed outer atmosphere occurs at the same time the event is observed. The increased level of X-ray and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation results in ionization in the lower layers of the ionosphere on the sunlit side of Earth. Under normal conditions, high frequency (HF) radio waves are able to support communication over long distances by refraction via the upper layers of the ionosphere. When a strong enough solar flare occurs, ionization is produced in the lower, more dense layers of the ionosphere (the D-layer), and radio waves that interact with electrons in layers lose energy due to the more frequent collisions that occur in the higher density environment of the D-layer. This can cause HF radio signals to become degraded or completely absorbed. This results in a radio blackout – the absence of HF communication, primarily impacting the 3 to 30 MHz band. The D-RAP (D-Region Absorption Prediction) product correlates flare intensity to D-layer absorption strength and spread.
Image Source: https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/phenomena/solar-flares-radio-blackouts
A solar flare is different to a geomagnetic storm. In fact, a geomagnetic storm can be caused by a solar flare.
A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. These storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in the currents, plasmas, and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere. The solar wind conditions that are effective for creating geomagnetic storms are sustained (for several to many hours) periods of high-speed solar wind, and most importantly, a southward directed solar wind magnetic field (opposite the direction of Earth’s field) at the dayside of the magnetosphere. This condition is effective for transferring energy from the solar wind into Earth’s magnetosphere.
The largest storms that result from these conditions are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) where a billion tons or so of plasma from the sun, with its embedded magnetic field, arrives at Earth. CMEs typically take several days to arrive at Earth, but have been observed, for some of the most intense storms, to arrive in as short as 18 hours. Another solar wind disturbance that creates conditions favorable to geomagnetic storms is a high-speed solar wind stream (HSS). HSSs plow into the slower solar wind in front and create co-rotating interaction regions, or CIRs. These regions are often related to geomagnetic storms that while less intense than CME storms, often can deposit more energy in Earth’s magnetosphere over a longer interval.
Storms also result in intense currents in the magnetosphere, changes in the radiation belts, and changes in the ionosphere, including heating the ionosphere and upper atmosphere region called the thermosphere. In space, a ring of westward current around Earth produces magnetic disturbances on the ground. A measure of this current, the disturbance storm time (Dst) index, has been used historically to characterize the size of a geomagnetic storm. In addition, there are currents produced in the magnetosphere that follow the magnetic field, called field-aligned currents, and these connect to intense currents in the auroral ionosphere. These auroral currents, called the auroral electrojets, also produce large magnetic disturbances. Together, all of these currents, and the magnetic deviations they produce on the ground, are used to generate a planetary geomagnetic disturbance index called Kp. This index is the basis for one of the three NOAA Space Weather Scales, the Geomagnetic Storm, or G-Scale, that is used to describe space weather that can disrupt systems on Earth.
Image Source: https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/phenomena/geomagnetic-storms
Who doesn't have the Aurora lights on their bucket list? I know it is probably number 1 on mine. As you can see from above, solar flares and geomagnetic storms are a normal part of everyday life that is occurring right under our noses, and we probably don't even know. Given that these cause disturbances to radio band frequency, we have to think about how that can affect us when conducting a paranormal investigation. If it can take out my WIFI for example. you have to think a disturbance could set off something like a K2 meter or even cause us to hear odd sounds through something like a spirit box.
A lot of paranormal investigators like to fill out reports to accompany their investigations. It can include things such as weather, moon cycles, temperature and overall observations of the surroundings. It can act as a form of debunking tool in a lot of ways. I would argue that we should be adding Solar flares and Geomagnetic storms to this list. While the most recent event was reported heavily in the news, this doesn't tend to occur every time there is a solar flare. Quite simple, a solar flare is going to affect your equipment if that is what you are using. On the surface, it will look like there is no explanation for some of the results you are getting as you won't necessarily be able to debunk them as you won't be able to find a source. A simple visit to the right reporting sites will be able to tell you if there have been any solar flare events. More importantly, they can also estimate the time that the effects of the solar flare are seen (as it usually takes a couple of days after the flare to see disturbances). Geomagnetic storms vary in intensity and while some may cause disturbances, others may just have a small effect on the satellites above. This information is available from all official weather agencies and should become a regular part of your reporting process. If you notice a lot of 'equipment activity' and it correlates to one of these events, it may not be as paranormal as maybe you first thought. https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/ is a great source of information for this!
On the other end of things, of course, we also have to ask the question....
In the same way that many investigators theorise that moon cycles and thunderstorms can fuel paranormal activity, the same train of thought would apply to solar flares and geomagnetic storms. A lot of people seem to think that spirits can somehow manipulate the electromagnetic field in order to communicate with us. It is why people use K2s, Mel Meters and Dataloggers. If this is the case, what would then happen if there is a big disruption in this field? Would it give a burst of energy or would it mean there is some sort of blockage and they would be unable to communicate? While scientists tell us that humans don't feel the effects and it more would just expose pilots and astronauts to higher levels of electromagnetic radiation, others would probably disagree. While people say they can feel the effects on a physical level of a moon cycle or even things like Mercury being in Retrograde, this you would imagine would be on the same level. In fact, I did a quick google search and many paranormal team based websites have listed solar flares and geomagnetic storms as 'paranormal activity inducers' and that they can feel the effects on an astral level. I am not one of those people so I can't comment on that on a personal level but it does make you wonder. Do these disturbances affect something on a paranormal level?
If we hear of a solar flare and know that it is coming and going to affect things, do we automatically expect something to happen and then start connecting dots where there are none? Last night I had a wifi outage. Something that happens quite regularly. This time however it was well within the 'solar flare' window. In fact, I am a Specialist IT technician and we have shared forums where we troubleshoot and discuss what we are currently working on with others in the same industry of work. Of course, there was a thread of outages (again not uncommon to have outages) all within the span of when we were expecting solar flare disturbance. Straight away I assumed that the WIFI outage was caused by the solar flare. There is no way I guess of actually knowing if it is was just one of those random outages that occur or if it was caused by the solar flare.
The same can be applied when it comes to the way we think about the paranormal. We just don't know. We can theorise or assume, but we don't know for sure. How can we measure these things if we cannot rely on the very equipment it is said to affect? There is simply no way for us to determine for certain if a device lighting up is caused by something paranormal, a solar flare, a disturbance or maybe even a random glitch. I guess this is what makes it so interesting when it comes to paranormal research. People can be really quick to judge or jump on another person's personal experience because it doesn't offer evidence. I would disagree to a point because I think that personal experiences play an integral part in trying to at least understand what is happening. For decades, researchers have been collecting stories and experiences from all over the world to try and see if there are patterns or similarities. You have stories from people from other sides of the World who don't know each other experiencing eerily similar things. Whether or not these are paranormal can be up for debate but it doesn't rule out the fact that people are experiencing these things. I don't think this is something we should discount just because it doesn't offer us proof. It can give us a perspective. So the next time you are doing an investigation or even interviewing someone or collecting stories, it would be interesting to try and broaden the collection of data to include dates so that we can trace things back to solar and geomagnetic storm events. Even adding to the thunderstorm and moon cycle debate, this information can all play a part!
So what do you think? Do you think solar flares and geomagnetic fields fuel the paranormal?
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