Two days. Two days since the prediction of the solar storm by the SWPC(Space Weather Prediction Center). Two days since all hell broke loose and everyone awaited the most dreaded day. Two horribly long days. And now, though midnight, I am anything but sleepy. Satellites are busy sending information of the solar activity to the humans, to help the narrow down the accuracy of the flare.
Zell, Holly. Van Allen Probes Spaceraft. 2011. nasa.gov. Web. 21 May. 2017.
I remained on high alert ever since the announcement was made. But with the strength of my magnetic field decreasing rapidly, I’m worried that I just might not be able to offer the intense protection that I need to. I watch the outer space continuously for the tell-tale signs of the solar flare. Two days ago, a huge solar flare was emitted by the sun and unfortunately, it was aimed right at us. In most of the cases I somehow escape because our paths don’t collide very often. My orbit takes me around the sun and fortunately most of the flares are directed somewhere else, for some other planet to face the fury. This time, however, it looks like it’s my turn.
Unlike other flares, this one is accompanied by a coronal mass ejection, making the event a different story all together. From the radio broadcasts and other satellite images that pass by me, I have heard that these coronal mass ejections are deadly and have the potential to cause complete blackouts. I wonder if the situation is the same on other planets. But then, I doubt if they will stand a chance against this giant’s power. From my place in the space I could see Aurora on a few planets whenever the solar flare struck a few days ago. Their magnetic field is not so strong and without it, there is little chance of survival, if any. Sadly, due to the powerless magnetic fields, life on these planets is dead even before they have a chance to begin.
And there it was. A tiny glow in the darkness. Travelling towards me, carrying with it what I feared the most, the coronal mass of the sun. The satellites around me pick up the signal of the flare and the whole world now depends upon me to protect them. My magnetic poles do not have the strength that they once did. Their reversals are overdue.
Swarm’s Precise Sense of Magnetism. European Space Agency. 2014. phys.org. Web. 21 May. 2017.
The last one occurred 780.000 years ago, when the life was just beginning to form. Since then, these living beings have evolved and transformed. I was always on alert regarding the space weather and protected them from many disasters that they are yet to discover. But this is the most intense one that I have faced so far. And the humans know it. They have sensed the restlessness of my magnetic poles deviating from their original positions. In the South African Anomaly, the compasses are already pointing south. My strength is not what it once used to be but this is also the time that the humans need me the most. Their communication systems, their health, their whole lives depend on me now.
The tiny glow is now thousands of kilometers wide. And with me rotating and revolving in my orbit, I am right at the heart of it. And then it happens.
It hits me hard. My shield compressed under its weight and with its magnetic field aligned opposite to that of mine, the pressure was even more. We struggle for hours. It just doesn’t seem to let go. The coronal mass ejection adds a force that I don’t have the power to compete with. Billions of tons of plasma is not something I was prepared for. I manage to deflect the particles above me and watch them as they go hunting for their next prey far into space.
Lucas, Thomas. Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth’s Climatic Engine. 2012. nationalgeographic.com. Web. 21 May. 2017.
Few of the particles, however, escape my attention and enter my field. They slide along my field and enter my poles, where my field is quite weak. I watch as my next layer of army, the atmosphere, consume them. Millions of molecules of oxygen and nitrogen, among many others, express their triumph by displaying a beautiful colors across the night sky.
Tired but content, I watch the rainbows in the night sky dance to the tunes unknown.
Wilmore, Butch. Northern Lights Meeting the Sun. 2015. techtimes.com. Web. 21 May. 2017.