Upcoming May Meteor Storm From 209P/LINEAR

Well – here’s hoping for something spectacular and not another damp squib like Ison!
Less than two weeks to wait and see now.



New ‘Meteor Storm’ from Comet May Light Up Night Sky This Month

Skywatchers have something exciting to look forward to this month — a possible new meteor shower that could send up to 1,000 shooting stars per hour streaking through the sky.

On May 23 and May 24, Earth should plow through debris shed by Comet 209P/LINEAR, astronomers say. These extraterrestrial particles could give stargazers an incredible show as they burn up in the planet’s atmosphere — or the anticipated fireworks may fizzle out.


On 24 May 2014 a new meteor shower is predicted to light up northern hemisphere night skies. As many as 300 meteors per hour are set to streak across the sky in what could be a short-lived one-off meteor storm when Earth passes through the debris stream left over by Comet 209P/LINEAR. Peak meteor activity is forecast for around 07:40 UT (08:40 BST) on the morning of Saturday 24 May, which does not favour UK observers as the Sun will already have risen. But while observers in North America will have the best view Paris Observatory’s Jeremie Vaubaillon, co-discoverer of the new meteor shower, suggests that activity could last a few hours due to the spread of Comet 209P/LINEAR’s debris. UK stargazers might therefore still be able to catch a glimpse of the beginnings of the 24 May meteor shower just before it gets light on the Saturday morning.

Squonk server updates

I’ve finally managed to get everything working (I think) with the latest Amazon Linux Update. However because I was working on a backup virtual server until I got the problems fixed I’ve decided it is simplest just to put the backup online rather than repeat the procedure.

As a result the blog has reverted to yesterday. I can restore the missing posts and hopefully will shortly.

Watch this space. If anyone sees a problem let me know

UPDATE: The squonk.tk server is currently running on an alternative low cost VPS to Amazon. I switched it over for a bit to see how it performed – the answer was so well that I’m leaving it there for the time being for an extended test. I can still switch back to Amazon if needed.

Blake’s 7 – Lucifer

Way back in 1981 millions of tv viewers were shocked by the final scene of Blake’s 7 (seen here in dodgy VCR copy).

Three decades later we finally find out what happened next!


Written by Paul Darrow, who played Avon and set 20 years after the final scene, some professional reviewers didn’t like this book but it has 4.5/5 stars on Amazon from customer reviews and I think that’s deserved. I loved this show. No not for the scientific accuracy – it never scored highly on that and neither does the book but who cares – Avon and Servalan are in it!

And fans of the series should also check out the Audio Play Warship which reunites the original cast. Warship’s author is Peter Angelhides who was a contemporary of Craig Murray’s at Dundee University.

In this reunion photograph Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan) was recovering from cancer treatment thus the lack of hair even by Servalan standards.

Squonk Technical Stuff

Free SSL Certificate
Free SSL

As the more observant may have noticed, I’ve obtained a free 90 day real security certificate for squonk and switched the blog over to secure access by default. As everything on the blog is public it isn’t really needed other than to protect administrative access but it does protect poster email addresses from plain-text sniffing so I might as well turn it on for all. I can extend the 90 day cert to a full year for only a few dollars through selected Comodo resellers. I had no idea such cheap certs were available now until recently and if every website had one it could only be good for internet security.

The only difference you should see is https in the URL field and a browser padlock symbol indicating you have an encrypted, secure connection to squonk.tk – Let me know if anyone has a problem.

I’ll also be turning on again soon some cache features that had problems with mixing http and https sessions. Shouldn’t be a problem with all connections being https now but again if anyone sees any problems with stale pages let me know.

And thanks all again for being here 🙂

X Class Solar Flare – Earth Facing

Updated: 10th September 2014 X Flare

Another X class solar flare.

Space Weather Message Code: SUMX01
Serial Number: 103
Issue Time: 2014 Sep 10 1827 UTC
SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
Begin Time: 2014 Sep 10 1721 UTC
Maximum Time: 2014 Sep 10 1745 UTC
End Time: 2014 Sep 10 1820 UTC
X-ray Class: X1.6
Optical Class: 2b
Location: N15E09
NOAA Scale: R3 – Strong
Potential Impacts: Area of impact consists of large portions of the sunlit side of Earth, strongest at the sub-solar point.
Radio – Wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour.

Space Weather Message Code: ALTTP2
Serial Number: 960
Issue Time: 2014 Sep 10 1814 UTC
ALERT: Type II Radio Emission
Begin Time: 2014 Sep 10 1727 UTC
Estimated Velocity: 3750 km/s
Description: Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.

The estimated speed is enormous and there’s already a magnetic storm watch up for Friday due to a flare/cme yesterday – today’s is much stronger. Awaiting NASA/NOAA preliminary analysis…

Original Post

No Don’t Panic but this is another sign the Sun is acting more like it should do at Solar Max.


X1.2 Flare

X1.2 Flare


As Sunspot Groups 1943/1944 are almost directly Earth facing any associated CME will likely be Earth directed. No it won’t fry the grids but we might have some Aurora activity in a couple of days.

EDIT: Updated with Imagery from STEREO Ahead (on the opposite side of the Sun from the Earth).

Stereo Ahead Cor(ona) 2

STEREO Ahead Cor(ona) 2

Product: Geophysical Alert Message wwv.txt
Issued: 2014 Jan 08 1510 UTC
# Prepared by the US Dept. of Commerce, NOAA, Space Weather Prediction Center


severe (G3-strong) storm levels are expected early on day two (09 Jan) in response to the arrival of the 07 Jan CME. Day three (10 Jan) is likely to start out at major (G2-moderate) to severe (G3-strong) storm levels, decreasing to minor storm levels (G1-Minor) by midday before returning to unsettled conditions as CME effects begin to subside.

Stay Tuned and keep up to latest info at http://www.solarham.net