my spiritual name is Ashka, revealed to me by my wonderful sage,
"LaSoon." My Earth name is Cynthia Orobono, and I have lived in the
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania since the mid 1980's. I consider myself a seeker, since adolescence I have been searching for my spiritual truth! With my Sacred-self, LaSoon at my side a deeper understanding as to why we
are here on Earth is being revealed.
I am learning how to bring my paradise onto this unique planet. I
have been a spiritual adviser for over twenty years, and now I am pleased to announce my permanent location at Elite Mixed Martial Arts Center, Northampton, PA. LaSoon and I are helping others find their way traversing
life's obstacles with this wonderful wisdom I have acquired.
experiencing a life lesson of surviving breast cancer (stage 3,
borderline 4) and gaining knowledge and wisdom from this event!
If you need assistance in finding your strength in dealing with cancer, or with challenges in your life please contact me. Life
can be difficult as well as joyous. We are here to help you find your
Ashka & LaSoon
Seeing your Victim and Making you a Winner
Please go to "LaSoon & Ashka Wisdom" Tab for the complete article! Enjoy...
For several weeks I have been suffering severe pain from my disease Ankylosing Spondylitis. The exciting news is along with my daily universal healing meditation, I have added a new fixed tool that has been developed by scientists. You can purchase this great technology in the form of jewelry. I use my pendant when I meditate and I have actually found relief. For several nights since purchasing my necklace I have not taken any pain medication. This progress is based on Quantum Science, so if you are interested in learning about this optimum energy please contact me for a reading or I will be arranging a quantum meditation class.
Learn from the wonderful light around you,
*Please note, as of 11.23.2015 (one week) I have not taken any pain medicine. I need everyone to check with their physician before stopping any medication.
Ashka's Connection will be attending the holistic fair at Ag Hall in the Allentown Fairgrounds! LaSoon and I are picking up where we left off from the May 2015 holistic fair, "working with and understanding the Universal Life Force." I will disclose what new energy is present for 2016, the year of the monkey. I am so excited because my Chinese New Year sign is fire monkey.
Much more to follow...
Okay it is time! LaSoon predicts what type of energy is manifesting
for the new year! This wonderful energy will be around us for the entire
2016. We are to use this gift from the Universal Life Force to help us
through our year of challenges and to help us evolve...
2016, the year of confidence and making informed decisions. "Never let
emotion cloud your view of a situation. Be calm and focused! Always
turn to research if you need more information." Finally, stop being a victim! This is very difficult, but I have written an article on steps to help eliminate this habit from continuing in your life. Also, I am teaching a class to reinforce positive change.
2015, the year of releasing the need for retribution and gaining empowerment!
2014, a year of understanding and rebirth (creating your heaven on Earth!)
2013, a year of renewed peace and self-fulfillment!
2012, the year of Universal and personal alignment!
"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble
but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or
Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)
"Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."
William James (1842 - 1910)
WHICH IMAGE DEFINES YOUR INNER ATTITUDE
*Lily quickly walks through the park, while enjoying the sweet scent of
the morning air. She can feel the femininity of her energy as she
moves. Her strong legs carry her across the graveled path,which gently
rub against the bottom of her feet. Lily is swinging her arms with her
shoes in hand and notices eyes watching her and she smiles. Life is
*Louisa slowly walks through the crowded city streets, she
coughs as she tries not to breathe in the exhaust. She struggles to move
as she feels the waning of her energy. The pain in her legs seems to
impede her progress and the pebbles on the sidewalk hurt her feet. As
Louisa keeps her arms close around her she notices watching eyes, she
purses her lips as she heads in another direction. Life is intrusive!
For more information on how to bring in this themed Universal Energy, please contact Ashka via this website on the Contact Page!
PLEASE SELECT "UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE" TAB FOR MORE INFORMATION!
YOU CAN USE THIS INFORMATION TO HELP YOU AS YOU JOURNEY THROUGH YOUR DAY...
July 15, 2016 - 6pm-7pm
If you are interested please contact me on the "Contact Tab!"
great way to release the stress in your life! You will learn basic
techniques to help you relax and clear the inner clutter. Sometimes it
becomes difficult to think when you have your daily routine constantly
playing in your head. You will learn the Chakra system, which gives
you a wonderful focal point. This just beginning steps to within...
LOCATION: ELITE MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CENTER
2022 Main Street, Northampton, PA 18067
610 440 0443
COST : Donation
Please refer to Events Page for more information!
ELITE MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CENTER
(Inside Affordable Pet Center)
2022 MAIN STREET
NORTHAMPTON, PA 18067
Ashka & LaSoon are so happy to announce the merging of Ashka's Connections with Elite Mixed Martial Arts Center.
Such a wonderful place to visit and learn! Spiritual Classes (meditation, etc.) and Energy/Tarot Sessions are now available. We also have stones, candles and various items to help with your Spiritual needs.
If you are interested in any of our services, please contact Ashka through the contact page on this website. Or just stop in during Elite Mixed Martial Arts Center's hours of operation.
Monday - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Tuesday - 6:oopm to 7:00pm (Tai Chi - you must pre-register)
Thursday- 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Friday - 6:00pm to 7:00pm (Meditation - you must pre-register)
Saturday - 9:30am to 3:00pm
Also, if you are looking for an "Energy Atunement - Level I," please contact Ashka.
"The Quantum Tarot is a very special deck that combines the revolutionary theories of 20th and 21st century physics and traditional tarot wisdom. The Quantum Tarot
takes the reader on a journey of discovery through a unique physical
and spiritual universe. Using vivid photographic imagery, the cards
illuminate the fascinating, complex world of modern science. These
powerful images are spot-glossed to highlight their beauty. The Hubble Telescope pictures are intertwined with the elements of the tarot deck. "
Star-seed Tarot Reading
"The Star-seed Tarot Deck helps souls who are searching to understand their Star-seed
origins and their purpose in the greater scheme of our cosmic evolution!"
The reading will
reveal your higher purpose for this Earth
spiritual guides connect to you and what you need to do?
- What karmic patterns must be cleared so you can
move into a higher vibration?
- The cards do address your current status on Earth...
ELITE MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CENTER
610 392 0408
ASHKA & LASOON
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING ANY INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE, PLEASE CONTACT ASHKA OR LASOON THROUGH THE CONTACT PAGE!
Everyone has challenges in their life, but sometimes things happen that shake us to our core. We physically internalize the event not sure if we want to live or die. Our emotional world is crushed, all we want to do is cry and hide. Intellectually, knowing that if we are around anyone, they can see through us, and see our pain.
This my dear friends is a cosmic lesson!
We must meet quite a few of these tests within our lifetime. But, please know that there is help from our spiritual side. All we have to do is ask and the signs will be in front of us to
assist us. Just open your eyes...
One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the
only strength which can overcome adversity."
Awakening to New Energy's
As we (Earth & Us) raise our vibration, wonderful will be revealed and given. It is for the awakened to find and draw on, bringing in this "new" wonderful energy. An example of this process are all the semi-precious stones and crystals that are newly discovered. To help this process along, I will be listing these that LaSoon has led me to:
Semi-Precious Stones & Crystals
Lemurian Jade: Alignment to Earth
Lemurian Jade contains Jade, Quartz, Pyrite and other , which together form two distinct coloured types. This greyish/green type is known as Shadow Lemurian Jade and the black type Midnight Lemurian Jade.
The frequency of Lemurian Jade connects to the base and heart centre to the at the heart of Mother Earth allowing one to feel the abundance and joy that can be found in one's world. Its energy helps one to communicate with Nature's Spirits and can aid with Earth healing.
Associated - Base/Root, Heart
Physical Ailments - Heart - Physical
- Immune Systems
Emotional Issue - Abuse
Spiritual Connections - Abundance & Prosperity
-Connection to Natures Spirits & Devas
- Divine Feminine
Starbrary Quartz Crystals
Starbrary crystals are a rare and completely natural type of Quartz formation, which have been and programmed with ancient and detailed information by people from distant star systems. This is the main difference between a Starbrary and a Lemurian Seed Crystal; Starbrarys having been encoded remotely by that existed outside of our own , whilst Lemurian crystals were embedded with information by people who inhabited our planet; ‘seeding’ or planting them in a sand bed in Brazil for us to discover some 10,000 years after they left.
The Starbrary Mission
The language of the Starbrary is similar to that of Lemurian Seed Crystals, but more complex due to the incredible amount of information each one contains. This information is considered crucial to the growth and survival of the human and the the planet as a whole. They are also thought to contain information required to help the Earth at a time of extreme global need or crisis. It follows, therefore, that these amazing and significant crystals are beginning to become available in various parts of the world, so that their reach to Lightworkers will be on a global scale.
Identifying a Starbrary
Starbrary crystals can be identified by the presence of glyph like markings, etchings, geometric symbols and patterns along their shafts and occasionally on the actual main face of the crystal. Some also carry doorways (portals) or keys. Whilst other natural, unpolished Quartz crystals may carry similar markings, the energy and detail of a Starbrary is undeniably completely different.
Lightning Strike Starbrary Crystals
Some Starbrarys may also be Lightning Strike crystals; a very rare formation in itself (not to be confused with Fulgarite*). ‘Lightning Strike Starbrary’ crystals have had their information ‘downloaded’ into them using lightning as a conduit, and, therefore, they benefit from having the additional properties of a Lightning Strike specimen. These crystals bear a jagged scar – usually on their shaft - caused by the strike. The intensity of the bolt often blew the tip off of these crystals in the process, but this does not detract from the energies or purpose. It is said that the travellers who imparted their knowledge into these crystals did so during electrical storms over Brazil many, many thousands of years ago; choosing crystals that were lying exposed (or perhaps placed) on the surface. Lightning Strike Starbrarys are not reserved to any one particular, named group of Starbrary (see names below), they may be found on any of them. Furthermore, Lightning Strike crystals are not always Starbrarys.
*Fulgarite is often sold as Lightning Quartz or Lightning Glass. Fulgarite is a variety of Lechatelierite and is a fragile formation of silica-rich glass, created when sand or base rock is hit by lightning, fusing it into unusual shapes. It is usually of rough, tubular appearance. The hollow tubular part is the point where the lightning struck, fusing the sand around it.
Starbrary Names and Groups
Most Starbrarys are labeled simply as ‘Starbrary Quartz’ or ‘Lightning Strike Starbrary Quartz’ and not named after their particular star system. Very occasionally, however, they will be specifically named if they are a readily identifiable formation; as with an Andromeda DT,ET (Double Terminated, Extraterrestrial). There are six different groups of people who have are believed to have left such information embedded in these crystals.
Some of the most sought after are those containing the maps, legends and history of the people of the Cassiopeia star system. These particular crystals can be recognized by their flowing lines and symbols along their shaft. They often (but not always) have key markings. These may be either portals or doorways to other dimensions or can be information gateways; the means by which we can access their data. Each crystal has various ways of being held which facilitates the release of information contained within; each position (and ‘key’ if one is present) revealing a different layer of information.
The next type, from the Pleidean System, are recognized by the geometric symbols along their sides - circles, squares, triangles (not to be confused with Record Keepers) and so on and they often have very pronounced keys. Together with the Cassiopeian type described above, these two have the strongest energetic links with the people of both Atlantis and Lemuria.
- Ursa Minor
Then we have a type linked to a system within Ursa Minor. They bear a series of triangles, dots and dashes – a sort of intergalactic Morse code – along their sides. They are often called Cosmic Crystals due to the markings which sometimes resemble meteor showers. To access the information contained within this particular type of crystal you have to ‘read’ the dots and dashes. The code contained within these crystals was one generally used throughout the Atlantean civilization.
Next we have an encoded crystal from the people of the Leo star system. It is a more linear pattern but does share some similarities with the first two – from Cassiopeia and Pleiades. The information contained within this type is more factual then philosophical or spiritual, giving names, dates, historical events and other more routine details like weather information.
Then come the Titanium included Quartz Starbrarys, with their deep ridges and furrows which create very definite glyphs on the faces of the crystal, rather than along the sides or shaft. This is the only Starbrary which bears markings on the face. This wondrous crystal is connected with the people of the Orion system. Of all the Starbrarys, this one needs a ‘companion crystal’. This ‘companion’ may be a crystal of any type (not necessarily Quartz) and is more often than not, quite an unremarkable stone. The companion crystals sit in wait for a Starbrary to come into their energy field, which activates their abilities. The information contained within an Orion Starbrary is so detailed that the companion crystal is needed to help us to first access this data, assimilating it in to a comprehensible manner. The Orion Starbrarys were of the utmost importance and spiritual value to the Native American Indian people.
Then we have a crystal containing knowledge from the people of the Andromeda star system. These differ from all the others in that they are (nearly) always double terminated (DT) and more often than not extraterrestrial (ET) formation crystals. They too often have keys, but these are usually tiny. The crucial distinguishing thing which identifies this type from the others is that the sides appear to be layered, and they have no central face termination. It is as though the main termination has been covered by the ET formation or growth. Extraterrestrial crystals can be identified as being similar to self-healed formations, but with far larger and better defined crystals, which vaguely resemble the flames coming out of the tail of a space shuttle! The Andromeda crystals have a strong energetic connection with both those from the Cassiopeian and Pleiadian people, giving rise to speculative belief that there may well have been contact and communication between people from the different star systems.
Finally, there are those referred to as Master Starbrarys; crystals which contain a selection if not all of the above features. The information in these exceptional crystals can be accessed either with or without a companion stone. These are the rarest and most powerful of all the Starbrarys.
These magnificent and wondrous crystals are now working their way to locations across the planet to be with the guardians who will need to work with them in the future. All of the Starbrarys are thought to contain a direct means of communicating with our elders from these far off galaxies, just lying dormant waiting for us to unlock their code. Furthermore, it is believed that when the time is right (as with Lemurian Seed Crystals also), the Starbrarys will experience a simultaneous ‘awakening’, creating a huge web or grid of celestial light which will surround and encompass the whole planet.
Embedded with their ancient and potent knowledge the Starbrarys lie patiently waiting for us to discover and work with them. Only time will tell, but when the people from these star systems feel that we are ready for open contact and have evolved sufficiently from the third dimension of fear, hatred, anger, jealousy and greed, many pieces of the puzzle will start to fall into place and we will receive the answers many spiritual people across the planet have long been searching for. If you find yourself guardian of one of these extraordinary and precious crystals, work with it often, treat it with the utmost respect and learn as much as you can of its secrets and mysteries.
*Information is from a wonderful site on the Internet!
Movie - "Cafe`" with Jennifer Love Hewitt
A wonderful little movie that gives us insight into our true "Universe." This film delves into explaining how we are creators of our physical world. How our lessons and challenges roll down from our spiritual world. "Highly recommended for content!"
"Joe Somebody" with Tim Allen
This movie gem uses humor to explain the difference between desire versus need! This is such an important lesson, sometimes with desire we are unsure as to what we truly want! You will really enjoy the moments of "Joe" finally learning his need over desire! How Joe finds peace and completeness with him making decisions from a place of need...
AuBois, il va un oiseau; Son chant vous arrete et vopus fait rougir...
"In the woods there is a bird; his song stops you and makes you blush."
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
"What though the radiance which was once so
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind."
This is an excerpt from a very beautiful poem, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
"Awake" - A show about parallel universes, how we are living in different dimensions at the same time. Very powerful information if you take the time a sift through each episode.
"Life" - This program on Netflix is about a police detective who is following the philosophy of Zen and how he lives it in his life! One of the more intriguing aspects is the people around the main character, who without knowing start to emulate him.
THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT
BY GERRY KENNEDY & ROB CHURCHILL
The unsolved riddle of an extraordinary book which has defied interpretation for centuries. The manuscript was rediscovered in 1912 and written in an unknown language, or undecipherable code, it contains hundreds of illustrations of weird plants, bizarre cosmological diagrams and, most tantalizing of all inexplicable scenes of naked nymphs bathing in a strange, green liquid. The manuscript was donated to Yale University. This book gives the history of the manuscript and a number of illustrations.
BEADS, JEWELRY & ETC...
The Kukui is the state tree of Hawaii, also known as the Candlenut tree.
In Ancient Hawaii the Kukui oil was used to make light. Wicks where
made from the spine of the frond leaf of the coconut palm, the first
candles were made of candle nut.. When many nuts were used together,
they would burn for many hours and these were the first torches.
The nuts and bark of the Kukui are also made into dye for Kapa or Tapa
cloth and on cloth for Hula or markings on sacred cloth for ceremony. The nuts are also made into a necklace, which can be used as prayer beads. The tree has a Spiritual meaning of light, hope, and renewal.
When you want to bring yourself back to your moments of tranquility and joy
connecting your sacred energy, take off your necklace or bracelet
each bead with a long in-breath and out-breath. Then quiet your
mind. You will
be balanced and filled with tranquility, harmony and
Plumeria Scroll - This design can be found in
rings, pendants and bracelets. The five petals of the Plumeria symbolize Sincerity, Faith, Devotion,
Aspiration and Surrender. Beloved for its elegant simplicity and delicious
fragrance, this delicate Island flower is often worn tucked behind one ear, or
shared with a loved one in a colorful flower lei.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER A KUKUI NUT NECKLACE OR BRACELET AND ANY OTHER ITEM, PLEASE MESSAGE ASHKA ON THE CONTACT PAGE. PRICING VARIES ACCORDING TO SHIPPING COSTS! THE KUKUI NUTS COME IN WHITE, BLACK & BROWN!
More information to follow...
Offering Enlight enment Through:
- Tarot Readings
- Star-seed Tarot Reading
Thanks for Visiting Us!
Current Vibrational Events
"Yes dear friends, there are several ways the environment can affect us, in a non-contact way. It can ripple through our auras and disrupt our harmonics. We can react from these rhythms through our emotional, physical and mental bodies. They are referred to as vibrational events, and if we have an understanding of it, it will lessen the impact.
The affects of solar and lunar activities have been documented for centuries. All we need to do is keep track of these events and accept and adjust to their influences for a positive optimum effect.
But, a cause that can completely disturb our harmonics is another persons aura. If that person is directing negative thoughts towards you it can have the same influence as the sun and moon. One simple way to dissipate this energy blast is to ignore it. Do not return the negativity, just mirror their energy back to the person that is sending it. It is so easy to do when you know you have the power! Then let them deal with what they have dished out. It is clearly returned with double the punch for them to contend with.
If you would like more information regarding this topic, please send a note through my "Contact Me" page.
"Natura valde simplex est et sibi consona!"
(Nature is exceedingly simple and harmonious with itself.)
Sir Isaac Newton
· La Bella Luna & El Sol
Predicted Solar and Lunar Events
- JULY 4 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 11:01 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
- JULY 4 - Juno at Jupiter. NASA’s Juno spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter after a five year journey. Launched on August 5, 2011, Juno will be inserted into a polar orbit around the giant planet on or around July 4, 2016. From this orbit the spacecraft will study Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetic field. Juno will remain in orbit until October 2017, when the spacecraft will be de-orbited to crash into Jupiter.
- JULY 19 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 22:57 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Buck Moon because the male buck deer would begin to grow their new antlers at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Full Thunder Moon and the Full Hay Moon.
- July 28, 29 - Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower. The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29. The second quarter moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year but if you are patient you should still be able to catch quite a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- August 2 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 20:44 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
- August 11, 12 - Perseids Meteor Shower. The Perseids is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. The shower runs annually from July 17 to August 24. It peaks this year on the night of August 11 and the morning of August 12. The waxing gibbous moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving fairly dark skies for should be an excellent early morning show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
- August 16 - Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation. The planet Mercury reaches greatest eastern elongation of 27.4 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the evening sky. Look for the planet low in the western sky just after sunset.
- August 18 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 09:26 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Sturgeon Moon because the large sturgeon fish of the Great Lakes and other major lakes were more easily caught at this time of year. This moon has also been known as the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.
- August 27 - Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter. A spectacular conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky. The two bright planets will be extremely close, appearing only 0.06 degrees apart. Look for this impressive pairing in the western sky just after sunset.
- September 1 - New Moon. The Moon will located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun and will not be visible in the night sky. This phase occurs at 09:03 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
- September 1 - Annular Solar Eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is too far away from the Earth to completely cover the Sun. This results in a ring of light around the darkened Moon. The Sun's corona is not visible during an annular eclipse. The path of the eclipse will begin off the eastern coast of central Africa and travel through Gabon, Congo, Tanzania, and Madagascar before ending in the Indian Ocean. A partial eclipse will be visible throughout most of Africa and the Indian Ocean. (NASA Map and Eclipse Information) (NASA Interactive Google Map)
- September 3 - Neptune at Opposition. The blue giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Neptune. Due to its extreme distance from Earth, it will only appear as a tiny blue dot in all but the most powerful telescopes.
National Geographic Article Published June 2012
By Timothy Ferris
On Thursday, September 1, 1859, a 33-year-old brewer and amateur astronomer named Richard Carrington climbed the stairs to his private observatory near London, opened the dome slit, and as was his habit on a sunny morning, adjusted his telescope to project an 11-inch image of the sun onto a screen. He was tracing sunspots on a piece of paper when, before his eyes, “two patches of intensely bright and white light” suddenly appeared amid one large sunspot group. At the same time the magnetometer needle dangling from a silk thread at London’s Kew Observatory began dancing wildly. Before dawn the next day enormous auroral displays of red, green, and purple illuminated the skies as far south as Hawaii and Panama. Campers in the Rocky Mountains, mistaking the aurora for sunrise, got up and started cooking breakfast.
The flare Carrington had observed heralded a solar superstorm—an enormous electromagnetic outburst that sent billions of tons of charged particles hurtling toward Earth. (Another amateur English astronomer named Richard Hodgson also witnessed the flare.) When the invisible wave collided with the planet’s magnetic field, it caused electrical currents to surge through telegraph lines. The blast knocked out service at several stations, but telegraphers elsewhere found that they could disconnect their batteries and resume operations using the geomagnetic electricity alone. “We are working with the current from the Aurora Borealis alone,” a Boston telegrapher messaged an operator in Portland, Maine. “How do you receive my writing?”
“Much better than with the batteries on,” Portland replied.
Operators of today’s communication systems and power grids would be less sanguine. No solar superstorm as powerful as the 1859 event has occurred since, so it is difficult to calculate what impact a comparable storm might have on today’s more wired world. A hint came with the Quebec blackout of March 13, 1989, when a solar storm roughly a third less powerful than the Carrington event knocked out the power grid serving more than six million customers in less than two minutes’ time. A Carrington-class storm could fry more transformers than the power companies keep stockpiled, leaving millions without light, potable water, sewage treatment, heating, air-conditioning, fuel, telephone service, or perishable food and medications during the months it would take to manufacture and install new transformers. A recent National Academy of Sciences report estimates that such a storm could wreak the economic disruption of 20 Katrina-class hurricanes, costing one to two trillion dollars in the first year alone and taking a decade to recover from.
“We cannot predict what the sun will do more than a few days ahead of time,” laments Karel Schrijver of Lockheed Martin’s Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, California. With a period of maximum solar activity expected to begin this year, space-weather centers are adding staff and hoping for the best. “We’re trying to understand how space weather percolates into society and just how bad it can get,” says Schrijver. “The morally right thing to do once you’ve identified a threat of this magnitude is to be prepared. It’s like earthquakes in San Francisco. Not preparing for it has intolerable consequences.”
Few objects seem as familiar as the sun—there it is, up in the sky every sunny day—yet few are so strange. Look through a solar telescope, and the quotidian yellow disk is transformed into a dynamic wonderland, where planet-size prominences rise into black space like glowing jellyfish, only to loop and slither back hours or days later, as if enthralled by some unseen force.
As indeed they are. Neither solid, liquid, nor gas, the sun is made up of plasma, the “fourth state of matter,” which forms when atoms are stripped down to naked protons and electrons. All those charged particles make the solar plasma a splendid conductor of electricity—much more conductive than copper wire. The sun is also packed with magnetic fields. Most remain buried inside the sun’s massive girth, but some magnetic pipes, as thick as the Earth is wide, emerge on the surface as sunspots. This magnetism choreographs the slithery dance in the sun’s atmosphere and powers the solar wind, flinging outward a million tons of plasma every second at a million miles an hour.
Driving all this activity is the intriguingly intricate machinery of an unexceptional star. The sun’s core—a seething, 27-million-degree-Fahrenheit plasma spheroid six times as dense as gold—fuses 700 million tons of protons into helium nuclei every second, releasing the energy of ten billion hydrogen bombs in the process. The core throbs gently, expanding when fusion rates climb and contracting when they damp down. Superimposed on this slow, deep heartbeat are myriad other rhythms, ranging from an 11-year sunspot cycle to rhythms spanning centuries.
The energy produced by the fusion in the sun’s core is carried outward by high-energy photons as they ricochet through a dense maze of ions and electrons. Matter is so tightly packed in this radiation zone that it takes more than 100,000 years for the photons to emerge into the surrounding convection zone, 70 percent of the way out from the solar center. After a month or so more, the photons emerge into the photosphere, the part of the sun that we see. From there, it takes a mere eight minutes for them to reach Earth as sunlight.
As one might expect, this titanic thermonuclear furnace makes a lot of noise. “The sun rings like a bell in millions of distinct tones,” notes Mark Miesch of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. The tones generate ripples on the solar surface, which scientists study to map currents deep in the convection zone, a discipline called helioseismology. Information conveyed by helioseismic sensors aboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite recently enabled Stanford University researchers to detect magnetic bundles 40,000 miles below the solar surface and to predict their emergence, days later, as sunspots.
Such data provide crucial information on how solar storms form. The sun functions as a gigantic dynamo, with global magnetic field lines encircling it from pole to pole like a birdcage. Local field lines, entangled with plasma in the convection zone, twist and kink and poke through the surface, forming loops made visible by the hot, glowing plasma. When loops cross, they can essentially short-circuit, causing the tremendous plasma explosions called solar flares. Such flares release the energy equivalent of hundreds of millions of megatons of TNT, spewing x-rays and gamma rays into space and accelerating charged particles to nearly the velocity of light.
The Carrington event consisted of a powerful solar flare that produced the second of a rare pair of coronal mass ejections (CMEs)—gigantic magnetic eruptions of heated plasma belched into space. The first CME probably reached Earth in a normal span of 40 to 60 hours, clearing a path through the solar wind for the second one to make the trip in a mere 17 hours. Their combined impact squashed the Earth’s magnetosphere—where the planet’s magnetic field interacts with the solar wind—down from its normal altitude of 40,000 miles to 4,000 miles, temporarily eliminating the Van Allen radiation belts girdling the planet. Charged particles entering the upper atmosphere set off intense auroras over much of the Earth. Some people thought their cities had caught fire.
A Carrington-class super storm probably occurs only once in several centuries. But even storms of much smaller magnitude can cause considerable damage, especially as humans become increasingly dependent on technology deployed in space. Solar storms disrupt the ionosphere—the layer of Earth’s atmosphere where auroras occur, more than 60 miles above the Earth’s surface. The pilots of the nearly 11,000 commercial flights routed over the north polar region each year rely on shortwave radio signals bouncing off the ionosphere to communicate above 80 degrees of latitude, beyond the range of communications satellites orbiting over the Equator. When space weather disrupts the ionosphere and interrupts shortwave communications, pilots are obliged to change course, which can cost $100,000 a flight. A flustered ionosphere deranges GPS signals as well, resulting in positioning errors that can be more than 150 feet. This means that surveyors must pack up and go home, floating oil-drilling rigs have trouble remaining on station, and pilots cannot rely on the increasingly popular GPS-based systems employed for landing at many airfields.
UV light emitted during solar flares can also disturb satellite orbits by heating up the atmosphere, which increases drag. NASA estimates that the International Space Station descends more than a thousand feet a day when the sun is acting up. Solar storms could also affect the electronics on communications satellites, turning them into “zombie-sats,” adrift in orbit and dead to the world.
Unlike satellites in space, most power grids have no built-in protection against the onslaught of a powerful geomagnetic storm. Since large transformers are grounded to the Earth, geomagnetic storms can induce currents that could cause them to overheat, catch fire, or explode. The damage could be catastrophic. According to John Kappenman of Storm Analysis Consultants, who studies the impact of space weather on the electrical grid, a solar storm like one that took place in May 1921 would today turn out the lights over half of North America. One on the order of the 1859 event could take out the entire grid, sending hundreds of millions of people back to a pre-electric way of life for weeks or perhaps months on end. In Kappenman’s words, we’re “playing Russian roulette with the sun.”
At least we’re not playing blindfolded. In 1859 the world had few tools for studying the sun, beyond telescopes and a handful of magnetic monitoring stations. Today scientists constantly monitor our home star with an imposing armada of satellites that can take images in x-ray and ultraviolet wavelengths blocked by Earth’s atmosphere. The venerable ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) spacecraft, launched in August 1997 and still going strong, monitors the solar wind from an orbit around the L1 libation point, a stable gravitational spot located a million miles sun-ward of the Earth. SOHO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, carries a dozen detectors that record everything from high-speed solar-wind protons to low-speed solar oscillations. STEREO consists of a pair of satellites, one preceding and the other trailing Earth in its orbit, that together take 3-D solar images revealing how coronal mass ejections loft off the sun’s surface and speed out through space. Meanwhile the Solar Dynamics Observatory, launched into a geosynchronous orbit in February 2010, downloads 1.5 terabytes of data every day on the sun’s atmosphere, oscillations, and magnetic field.
Yet much remains to be done. “Space weather is where terrestrial weather was 50 years ago,” says physicist Douglas Biesecker of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. Because the impact of a storm depends in part on how its magnetic field aligns with that of the Earth, scientists cannot be sure of the storm’s intensity until it reaches the ACE satellite—sometimes a mere 20 minutes before it slams into Earth.
So researchers concentrate on forecasting a storm’s potential strength and its likely arrival time, giving vulnerable systems time to prepare. Last October the NOAA group inaugurated a new computer model, called Enlil after the Sumerian god of winds, that can predict when a CME will hit Earth, plus or minus six hours—twice as accurate as previous forecasts. The modeling is complex, in part because CMEs can interact strongly with the normal solar wind, making their progress as unpredictable as that of a running back through a defensive line. The uncertainties notwithstanding, Enlil’s forecast for the arrival of a potentially major storm on March 8 of this year was off by a mere 45 minutes. That storm turned out to be a bit of a dud. We may not be so lucky next time.
“We haven’t seen anything big in this solar cycle yet,” says Biesecker. “But now we know that when the big one comes, we’ll be able to nail it.”
"Living and not learning from life's lessons is just existing. To really live is to bring forth the inner weaknesses of the self and learn. Love and life experiences are all we take with us when we finally awaken to our true self and become one with the creator!"
Teach Mediation Classes, Spiritual Adviser
Elite Mixed Martial Arts Center
(Inside Affordable Pet Center)
2022 Main Street
Northampton, PA 18067
610 440 0443