Solar Storms Are Down And So Are Earthquakes

A picture of a solar flare, or CME, exploding off the surface of the Sun.

Solar flares, or CMEs, exploding off the surface of the Sun are quiet right now.

There appears to be a connection between solar storms and earthquakes. It might be a coincidence, but then again, I don’t believe in coincidence.

When the Sun fires off huge coronal mass ejections (CMEs), earthquake records show that an increase in earthquakes occur at the same time all over the world.

The Sun is very calm right now, and is not throwing out as many massive CMEs; the “number” of earthquakes worldwide is also down.

Coincidence? Nah – not with Nature.

The Eye Of A Solar Storm

A picture of the Sun's coronal hole.

This coronal hole on the Sun is moving toward its North Pole. This shows movement toward an upcoming reversal of the Sun’s magnetic poles – NASA.

Right now, the solar CME cycle appears very calm. This does not mean that the current “solar cycle” is over, by any means. Actually, the present solar cycle peaks in 2013, so if anything, this means that the Sun is “sucking up” more energy from its surface as its magnetic poles prepare to flip.

Compare this to the eye of a hurricane; the eye is the center of the storm, and it is calm, quiet, sunny, and still. When you come out of the eye into the backside of the storm, you are back to hurricane winds.

No one really knows for sure, but monitoring the Sun’s polar magnetic flip should provide some hints when the CMEs will start flaring up again.

Maybe a decrease in the number of earthquakes mirrors a upcoming reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles. No one knows because human technology was not on Earth when this happened last.


At this time, there has been a decrease in the number of earthquakes, worldwide, but an increase in magnitude – the quakes that have occurred have been doozies.

The following large earthquakes (5.0 and above) have occurred worldwide over the past 7 days:

  1. 5.6  Carlsberg Ridge (Indian Ocean near equator)
  2. 7.7  Pakistan
  3. 5.9  Pakistan
  4. 5.0  Pakistan
  5. 5.6  Pakistan
  6. 3 islands formed in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan after these quakes
  7. 5.0   Pakistan
  8. 5.5   Pakistan
  9. 5.0   Pakistan
  10. 5.5   Tonga
  11. 5.4   East Pacific Rise (South Polar region)
  12. 5.4   Alaska (North Polar region)
  13. 7.0   Peru (equator)
  14. 5.4   Reykjanes Ridge, Iceland (North Polar region)
  15. 5.7   Mexico (equator)
  16. 5.0   Tonga
  17. 5.0   Pakistan
  18. 5.2   Russia (North Polar region)
  19. 5.4   North Mid-Atlantic Ridge (North Polar region)
  20. 6.8   Pakistan
  21. 5.7   Tonga
  22. 5.0   South Mid-Atlantic Ridge (South Polar region)
  23. 5.7   Tonga
  24. 5.0   South Mid-Atlantic Ridge (South Polar region)
  25. 5.0   New Guinea
  26. 5.2   Russia (North Polar region)
  27. 5.1    SW Indian Ridge
  28. 5.2   Chile
  29. 5.0   Chile
  30. 6.5   New Zealand
  31. 5.4   Mid Atlantic Ridge
  32. 5.0   New Guinea
  33. 5.0   Japan

Believe it or not, 33 earthquakes 5.0 and above is a decrease in the number of recent earthquakes, but the strength of the quakes is the difference – their magnitudes are increasing. Merely a decade ago, the list above would have been for the entire year. Today, these large quakes are occurring within a week.

As the solar cycle recharges, we’ll have to wait and see if this list increases in both number and magnitude.


Electronics Interrupted By Solar Storm

Someone texting on their cell phone.

If your cell phone is acting up, hang in there – it’s just the recent solar CME.

If your cell phone, GPS, or Internet are acting wonky lately, don’t spend your time stuck on hold with your service providers – it’s probably the Sun messing things up.

On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, the Sun blasted billions of tons of solar particles toward the Earth at 3.3 million km/h (2 million mph).

That’s about 550 miles per second, and a fairly average speed for a CME. They happen all the time during an active solar cycle, but what’s unique about this CME is that it is headed toward the Earth.


Radioactive particles ejected by Earth-directed CMEs typically take two or three days to reach our planet. CMEs that hit Earth produce beautiful auroras, known as the Northern and Southern Lights, and this was once the only effect from CMEs.

A picture of the aurora borealis.

The Northern Lights – aurora borealis.

Today, mankind has numerous satellites rotating around the Earth that supply the hubs for our dependency on a paperless society. Satellites power the Internet, wireless communications, and on-line banking, but CMEs can trigger geomagnetic storms that can disrupt radio communications, GPS signals, and power grids.

Head’s Up!

If your cell phone is dropping calls or your on-line banking is messing up, hang in there – not every CME smacks us head-on. 

Tomorrow is another day.


The Sun’s Sweet Spot

A picture of the Sun's coronal hole.

A coronal hole on the sun moving toward the Sun’s North Pole about 400,000 miles across. NASA July 18, 2013.

The Earth is 93 million miles away from the Sun, and this places our planet in the sweet spot. We are not too close to the Sun, and we’re not too far away – we are positioned PERFECTLY to the Sun. Because of our position, we have a plethora of life on Earth unlike any other planet in our solar system. We are lucky ducks.

Solar Changes

When the Sun changes, though, it changes all life on Earth, and whether the changes are good or bad, humans have gotten so used to the ways things are now, change doesn’t come easy.

Affects On Earth

Every 11 years, the Sun’s surface becomes more active with violent eruptions and increased heat. This current solar cycle is reaching its maximum activity in late 2013 and early 2014. This doesn’t mean that the solar cycle is over; this means that over the next few years, the Sun will begin cooling down, and its effects on the Earth will be less threatening as today.

The presence of a huge coronal hole is our signal that the surface of the Sun is turning the corner and  beginning to calm down.

From Flares To Holes

Holes in the Sun, known as coronal holes, are currently ramping up toward what is known as solar maximum, currently predicted for late 2013. During this portion of the cycle, the number of coronal holes decreases. During solar max, the magnetic fields on the Sun reverse, and new coronal holes appear near the poles with the opposite magnetic alignment. The coronal holes then increase in size and number, extending farther from the poles as the Sun moves toward solar minimum again. At such times, coronal holes have appeared that are even larger than this one.

The holes are important to our understanding of space weather, as they are the source of a high-speed wind of solar particles that streams off the Sun some three times faster than the slower wind elsewhere. While it’s unclear what causes coronal holes, they correlate to areas on the Sun where magnetic fields soar up and away, failing to loop back down to the surface as they do elsewhere.

EMPs, or electromagnetic pulses, are high energy explosions of electromagnetic radiation on the Sun, much like nuclear explosions, and these explosions can send out huge solar flares wiping out communication systems and modern electronics on the Earth.

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs), commonly known as solar flares, are massive bursts of solar wind and magnetic fields rising above the Sun’s surface and being released into space. Most CMEs originate from very active regions on the Sun’s surface.

A picture of a solar flare, or CME, exploding off the surface of the Sun.

A solar flare, or CME, exploding off the surface of the Sun.

Not Out Of The Woods Yet

Before the Sun cools down, it will reach its peak of increasing heat and surface eruptions. This impacts the Earth in many ways.

As 2013 closes and we begin 2014, we will continue to experience strange weather patterns, violent storms, and increases in volcanoes and earthquakes. 

Remember that the Earth is responding to the dominant influences of the Sun, and as long as the Sun is fired up – we’ll stay fired up.