Sunday 16 September 2018

So just what did happen in space in the days after the Sunspot Solar Observatory was closed down? Are we any wiser as to why it was closed

Security guards are stationed at the entrance to the Sunspot Observatory on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, to turn away the visitors curious about the site's sudden closure. Dylan Taylor-Lehman/Daily News

Something is amiss in the state of New Mexico, and the chain of mysterious events has all the hallmarks of a sci-fi plot.
The state's Sunspot Solar Observatory, home to one of the largest active solar telescopes in the world, was shut down last Friday and all personnel evacuated.
The FBI was on the scene almost immediately.
Employees and the public have been indefinitely banned from the premises, and the observatory's website now reads: "TEMPORARILY CLOSED".
Sunspot Observatory was closed and evacuated Sept. 6 due to an undisclosed security risk.
Federal officials aren't saying why it was closed, and the silence has led to international media coverage and plenty of speculation.
But authorities remaining tight-lipped.

In the days since the site was closed, I have documented all the main events in space below.

On the 6th of September according to,  a fast-moving stream of solar wind was approaching Earth but was still at least a day away.
The gaseous material was flowing from a hole in the sun's atmosphere known as a coronal hole.
Apart from the coronal hole, the sun was blank--no sunspots.
On Sep. 6, 2018, NASA reported 19 fireballs.
Many experts are now claiming coronal activity on our sun can influence major quake activity here on Earth, on the 6th of Sep a massive mag 7.8 rocked Fiji after a mag 6.7 struck Japan the day before.

On the 7th of September, two solar wind streams from two coronal holes, (unusual) were approaching Earth, each flowing from a distinct hole in the sun's atmosphere.
The first stream as we know was due to arrive on Sept. 7-8 with the second following on Sept. 11-12.
However, neither was expected to produce a strong geomagnetic storm.
Once again the sun was blank--no sunspots.
On Sep. 7, 2018, NASA reported 26 fireballs.
Sept the 7th recorded two major quakes a 6.1 in the Philippines and a mag 6.2 in Equador.

September the 8th the two coronal holes on the Sun had merged into a canyon-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere and was facing Earth and spewing solar wind in our direction.
Estimated time of arrival when the solar wind would impact Earth was Sept. 11-12.
Minor geomagnetic storms and Arctic auroras were being predicted by NASA when the gaseous material reaches our planet.
The sun was blank--no sunspots.
On Sep. 8, 2018, NASA reported 43 fireballs.

On September the 9th, On Sept. NOAA forecasters issued a watch for G2-class (moderately strong) geomagnetic storms on Sept. 11th.
That's when a fast-moving stream of solar wind was expected to hit Earth's magnetic field.
The gaseous material was flowing from a canyon-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere.
During G2-class storms, auroras can appear in the United States from New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.
A new sunspot AR2721 arrived on our Sun but was very quiet and typical of solar minimum sunspots.
On Sep. 9, 2018, NASA reported 38 fireballs and a powerful mag 6.5 quake struck the Solomon Islands.

September the 10th, Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner ("21P" for short) was making its closest approach to Earth in 72 years--only 58 million km from our planet.
G1-class geomagnetic storms were sparking bright auroras around the Arctic Circle as Earth entered a fast-moving stream of solar wind from the coronal hole on our Sun.
NOAA forecasters claimed the storm might intensify to category G2 on Sept. 11th.
Sunspot AR2721 was decaying and was very quiet.
On Sep. 10, 2018, the NASA reported 94 fireballs.
USGS reported two powerful major quakes, a mag 6.9 L'Esperance Rock, New Zealand and a mag 6.3 - New Caledonia.

On September the 11th, a G2-class geomagnetic storm, correctly predicted by NOAA forecasters was battering Earth's magnetosphere.
It began during the late hours of Sept. 10th when the solar wind stream hit Earth's magnetic field, the gaseous material was flowing from a canyon-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere and continued for much of Sept. 11th.
SDO claimed the sun was once again blank-no sunspots, see below.

On September the 12th, reported a crescent Moon was passing by Venus en route to Jupiter.
The bright heavenly bodies would be putting on a sunset sky show for the rest of the week.
 This week's G2-class geomagnetic storm lit up both of Earth's poles, north and south.
The impact rocked our planet's magnetic field, causing geomagnetic storms that lasted for more than 12 hours.
Another solar wind stream is on the way from another large coronal hole in our Sun's atmosphere and it could cause similar displays when it arrives on Sept. 16th or 17th.
New sunspot AR2722 arrived and was small and quiet, typical of solar minimum sunspots.
No fireballs have been reported by NASA since Sept the 10th.

 On September the 13th a new hole in the sun's atmosphere was turning toward Earth.
Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible when the gaseous material arrives on Sept. 16th or 17th.
Sunspot AR2722 is small and quiet--typical of solar minimum sunspots.

No geomagnetic storm was predicted for Sept. 14th.
One happened anyway.
The day began with a minor G1-class storm that sparked midnight auroras over parts of Canada.
 The sun was blank--no sunspots, below is the massive coronal hole on our Sun.
On September the 15th the jagged hole in the sun's atmosphere was facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet.
Estimated time of arrival: Sept. 17th. reported the northern autumnal equinox, only a week away which means one thing: Cracks are opening in Earth's magnetic field. Researchers have long known that during weeks around equinoxes fissures form in Earth's magnetosphere.
Solar wind pours through the gaps to fuel bright displays of Northern Lights.
NASA and European spacecraft have been detecting these cracks for years. Small ones are about the size of California, and many are wider than the entire planet.
The sun was blank no sunspots.

Which brings us to today, the jagged hole in the sun's atmosphere is facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet.
Estimated time of arrival: Sept. 17th.

And that's about it, space-wise anyway, apart from our planet's magnetosphere almost constantly battered for the last week, a couple of weak sunspots and a comet passing 58 million km from our planet, a string of powerful quakes and NASA's pause in issuing fireball data nothing I can see is out of the ordinary.

The observatory is close to the home of the most famous UFO controversy in the world when a craft apparently crashed outside the town of Roswell in 1947.
On June 14, 1947, William Brazel, a foreman working on the Foster homestead, noticed clusters of debris approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Roswell, New Mexico.
This date—or "about three weeks" before July 8—appeared in later stories featuring Brazel, but the initial press release from the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) said the find was "sometime last week", suggesting Brazel found the debris in early July.
He paid little attention to it but returned on July 4 with his son, wife and daughter to gather up the material.
The next day, Brazel heard reports about "flying discs" and wondered if that was what he had picked up.
RAAF Major Jesse Marcel and a "man in plainclothes" accompanied Brazel back to the ranch where more pieces were picked up.
"[We] spent a couple of hours Monday afternoon [July 7] looking for any more parts of the weather device", said Marcel. "We found a few more patches of tinfoil and rubber."
On July 8, 1947, Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officer Walter Haut issued a press release stating that personnel from the field's 509th Operations Group had recovered a "flying disc", which had crashed on a ranch near Roswell.
As described in the July 9, 1947 edition of the Roswell Daily Record.

Roswell UFO incident
The closed observatory is also close to another famous UFO incident at Holloman Airforce Base.
In 1973 an encounter was perhaps the earliest suggestion that the U.S. government was involved with ETs.
That year, Robert Emenegger and Allan Sandler of Los Angeles, California were in contact with officials at Norton Air Force Base in order to make a documentary film.
Emenegger and Sandler report that Air Force Officials (including Paul Shartle) suggested incorporating UFO information in the documentary, including as its centrepiece genuine footage of a 1971 UFO landing at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
Furthermore, says Emenegger, he was given a tour of Holloman AFB and was shown where officials conferred with Extraterrestrial Biological Entities (EBEs).
This was supposedly not the first time the U.S. had met these aliens, as Emenegger reported that his U.S. military sources had "been monitoring signals from an alien group with which they were unfamiliar, and did their ET guests know anything about them?
The ETs said no" (Clark 1998, 144). The documentary was released in 1974 as UFO's: Past, Present and Future (narrated by Rod Serling) containing only a few seconds of the Holloman UFO footage, the remainder of the landing depicted with illustrations and re-enactments.
In 1988, Shartle said that the film in question was genuine and that he had seen it several times.

The closed observatory is also close to White Sands Missile Range.
The White Sands Test Center headquartered at the WSMR "Post Area" has branches for Manned Tactical Systems & Electromagnetic Radiation and conducts missile testing and range recovery operations.
The missile range is also the site of the 1945 Trinity nuclear explosion.

Thanks to



Space weather

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