Tuesday, May 17, 2005

From UPI: Major Geomagnetic Storm Heads Toward Earth

I have to chuckle whenever I see "science writers" for major media mix up facts in stories about auroras and space weather, a topic near and dear to me. It's not their fault--I mean, they probably got the short straw on that day, so they missed out on the sports reporting. Let me dissect the part of the story that I have the biggest problem with:

Statement: A major electromagnetic storm from a solar flare was headed toward Earth Monday, possibly causing power distribution, cell phone outages and other problems.

Fact: The Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that occurred as the result of a major solar flare on Friday had impacted Earth early Sunday morning, USA time. The resulting Geomagnetic storm had all but subsided on Monday.

This would have been a good "heads up" story to run on Saturday, not on the Tuesday following. In my opinion, it seems that they want to put people into a panic over an event that is over (by making the uninformed believe that it is yet to occur).