View Poll Results: What impact will the sun's deep minima have on the future climate?
Climate getting progressively cooler through next solar cycles 288 43.11%
No impact 145 21.71%
Global warming is here to stay 128 19.16%
Calm before the solar storm of 2012-2013 107 16.02%
Voters: 668. You may not vote on this poll

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23-04-2009, 01:46   #16
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So is the world ending or not??
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23-04-2009, 01:56   #17
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watching discovery channel a few months back they reckon there is to be a major tsunami on the way and it will completley cover most of southern europe and reach the american coast covering the entire new york state. There is a volcano on one of the canary islands(i think) and they think it will eurpt causing the entire west side of the island to break off and hit the water at such speed it will cause one of the biggest ever tsunamis that will travel at 500kms an this the end for us .
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23-04-2009, 02:01   #18
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thats correct.half the volcano will slide into the atlantic creating will happen but we can,t tell when.gettin back to the thread,any comments on whats been happening with our sun and a possible severe cold occurance.
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23-04-2009, 04:16   #19
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Posting this so people don't think the doomsday is coming after that mail online post.

First and foremost, the Sun has a natural cycle with a period of approximately 11 years. During the lifetime of each cycle, the magnetic field lines of the Sun are dragged around the solar body by differential rotation at the solar equator. This means that the equator is spinning faster than the magnetic poles. As this continues, solar plasma drags the magnetic field lines around the Sun, causing stress and a build up of energy (an illustration of this is pictured). As magnetic energy increases, kinks in the magnetic flux form, forcing them to the surface. These kinks are known as coronal loops which become more numerous during periods of high solar activity.

This is where the sunspots come in. As coronal loops continue to pop up over the surface, sunspots appear too, often located at the loop footpoints. Coronal loops have the effect of pushing the hotter surface layers of the Sun (the photosphere and chromosphere) aside, exposing the cooler convection zone (the reasons why the solar surface and atmosphere is hotter than the solar interior is down to the coronal heating phenomenon). As magnetic energy builds up, we can expect more and more magnetic flux to be forced together. This is when a phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection occurs.

Reconnection is the trigger for solar flares of various sizes. As previously reported, solar flares from “nanoflares” to “X-class flares” are very energetic events. Granted, the largest flares my generate enough energy for 100 billion atomic explosions, but don’t let this huge figure concern you. For a start, this flare occurs in the low corona, right near the solar surface. That’s nearly 100 million miles away (1AU). The Earth is nowhere close to the blast.

As the solar magnetic field lines release a huge amount of energy, solar plasma is accelerated and confined within the magnetic environment (solar plasma is superheated particles like protons, electrons and some light elements such as helium nuclei). As the plasma particles interact, X-rays may be generated if the conditions are right and bremsstrahlung is possible. (Bremsstrahlung occurs when charged particles interact, resulting in X-ray emission.) This may create an X-ray flare.

The Problem with X-ray Solar Flares

The biggest problem with an X-ray flare is that we get little warning when it is going to happen as X-rays travel at the speed of light (one of the record breaking 2003 solar flares is pictured.

X-rays from an X-class flare will reach the Earth in around eight minutes. As X-rays hit our atmosphere, they are absorbed in the outermost layer called the ionosphere. As you can guess from the name, this is a highly charged, reactive environment, full of ions (atomic nuclei, and free electrons).

During powerful solar events such as flares, rates of ionization between X-rays and atmospheric gases increase in the D and E region layers of the ionosphere. There is a sudden surge in electron production in these layers. These electrons can cause interference to the passage of radio waves through the atmosphere, absorbing short wave radio signals (in the high frequency range), possibly blocking global communications. These events are known as “Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances” (or SIDs) and they become commonplace during periods of high solar activity. Interestingly, the increase in electron density during a SID boosts the propagation of Very Low Frequency (VLF) radio, a phenomenon scientists use to measure the intensity of X-rays coming from the Sun.

Coronal Mass Ejections?

X-ray solar flare emissions are only part of the story. If the conditions are right, a coronal mass ejection (CME) might be produced at the site of the flare (although either phenomenon can occur independently). CMEs are slower than the propagation of X-rays, but their global effects here on Earth can be more problematic. They may not travel at the speed of light, but they still travel fast; they can travel at a rate of 2 million miles per hour (3.2 million km/hr), meaning they may reach us in a matter of hours.

This is where much effort is being put into space weather prediction. We have a handful of spacecraft sitting between the Earth and the Sun at the Earth-Sun Lagrangian (L1) point with sensors on board to measure the energy and intensity of the solar wind. Should a CME pass through their location, energetic particles and the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) can be measured directly. One mission called the Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) sits in the L1 point and provides scientists with up to an hour notice on the approach of a CME. ACE teams up with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO), so CMEs can be tracked from the lower corona into interplanetary space, through the L1 point toward Earth.

These solar missions are actively working together to provide space agencies with advanced notice of an Earth-directed CME.
So what if a CME reaches Earth? For a start, much depends on the magnetic configuration of the IMF (from the Sun) and the geomagnetic field of the Earth (the magnetosphere). Generally speaking, if both magnetic fields are aligned with polarities pointing in the same direction, it is highly probable that the CME will be repelled by the magnetosphere.

In this case, the CME will slide past the Earth, causing some pressure and distortion on the magnetosphere, but otherwise passing without a problem. However, if the magnetic field lines are in an anti-parallel configuration (i.e. magnetic polarities in opposite directions), magnetic reconnection may occur at the leading edge of the magnetosphere.
In this event, the IMF and magnetosphere will merge, connecting the Earth’s magnetic field with the Sun’s. This sets the scene for one of the most awe inspiring events in nature: the aurora.

Satellites in Peril
As the CME magnetic field connects with the Earth’s, high energy particles are injected into the magnetosphere. Due to solar wind pressure, the Sun’s magnetic field lines will fold around the Earth, sweeping behind our planet. The particles injected in the “dayside” will be funnelled into the polar regions of the Earth where they interact with our atmosphere, generating light as aurorae.

During this time, the Van Allen belt will also become “super-charged”, creating a region around the Earth that could cause problems to unprotected astronauts and any unshielded satellites. For more on the damage that can be caused to astronauts and spacecraft, check out “Radiation Sickness, Cellular Damage and Increased Cancer Risk for Long-term Missions to Mars” and “New Transistor Could Side-Step Space Radiation Problem.”

As if the radiation from the Van Allen belt wasn’t enough, satellites could succumb to the threat of an expanding atmosphere. As you’d expect, as if the Sun hits the Earth with X-rays and CMEs, there will be inevitable heating and global expansion of the atmosphere, possibly encroaching into satellite orbital altitudes.

If left unchecked, an aerobraking effect on satellites could cause them to slow and drop in altitude. Aerobraking has been used extensively as a space flight tool to slow spacecraft down when being inserted into orbit around another planet, but this will have an adverse effect on satellites orbiting Earth as any slowing of velocity could cause it to re-enter the atmosphere.

We Feel the Effects on the Ground Too

Although satellites are on the front line, if there is a powerful surge in energetic particles entering the atmosphere, we may feel the adverse effects down here on Earth too. Due to the X-ray generation of electrons in the ionosphere, some forms of communication may become patchy (or be removed all together), but this isn’t all that can happen.

Particularly in high-latitude regions, a vast electric current, known as an “electrojet”, may form through the ionosphere by these incoming particles. With an electric current comes a magnetic field. Depending on the intensity of the solar storm, currents may be induced down here on the ground, possibly overloading national power grids. On March 13th 1989, six million people lost power in the Quebec region of Canada after a huge increase in solar activity caused a surge from ground-induced currents. Quebec was paralysed for nine hours whilst engineers worked on a solution to the problem.

Can Our Sun Produce a Killer Flare?

The short answer to this is “no”.
The longer answer is a little more involved. Whilst a solar flare from out Sun, aimed directly at us, could cause secondary problems such as satellite damage and injury to unprotected astronauts and blackouts, the flare itself is not powerful enough to destroy Earth, certainly not in 2012.

I dare say, in the far future when the Sun begins to run out of fuel and swell into a red giant, it might be a bad era for life on Earth, but we have a few billion years to wait for that to happen. There could even be the possibility of several X-class flares being launched and by pure bad luck we may get hit by a series of CMEs and X-ray bursts, but none will be powerful to overcome our magnetosphere, ionosphere and thick atmosphere below.

“Killer” solar flares have been observed on other stars. In 2006, NASA’s Swift observatory saw the largest stellar flare ever observed 135 light-years away. Estimated to have unleashed an energy of 50 million trillion atomic bombs, the II Pegasi flare will have wiped out most life on Earth if our Sun fired X-rays from a flare of that energy at us. However, our Sun is not II Pegasi. II Pegasi is a violent red giant star with a binary partner in a very close orbit. It is believed the gravitational interaction with its binary partner and the fact II Pegasi is a red giant is the root cause behind this energetic flare event.

Doomsayers point to the Sun as a possible Earth-killer source, but the fact remains that our Sun is a very stable star. It does not have a binary partner (like II Pegasi), it has a predictable cycle (of approximately 11 years) and there is no evidence that our Sun contributed to any mass extinction event in the past via a huge Earth-directed flare. Very large solar flares have been observed (such as the 1859 Carrington white light flare)… but we are still here.

In an added twist, solar physicists are surprised by the lack of solar activity at the start of this 24th solar cycle, leading to some scientists to speculate we might be on the verge of another Maunder minimum and “Little Ice Age”. This is in stark contrast to NASA solar physicist’s 2006 prediction that this cycle will be a “doozy”.

This leads me to conclude that we still have a long way to go when predicting solar flare events. Although space weather prediction is improving, it will be a few years yet until we can read the Sun accurately enough to say with any certainty just how active a solar cycle is going to be. So, regardless of prophecy, prediction or myth, there is no physical way to say that the Earth will be hit by any flare, let alone a big one in 2012. Even if a big flare did hit us, it will not be an extinction event. Yes, satellites may be damaged, causing secondary problems such as a GPS loss (which might disrupt air traffic control for example) or national power grids may be overwhelmed by auroral electrojets, but nothing more extreme than that.
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23-04-2009, 14:55   #20
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interesting video,what ya think?

another of sun

Last edited by Redsunset; 23-04-2009 at 15:54.
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23-04-2009, 15:11   #21
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The Little Ice Age, Ca. 1300 - 1870

The Little Ice Age is a period between about 1300 and 1870 during which Europe and North America were subjected to much colder winters than during the 20th century. The period and can be divided in two phases, the first beginning around 1300 and continuing until the late 1400s.

There was a slightly warmer period in the 1500s, after which the climate deteriorated substantially. The period between 1600 and 1800 marks the height of the Little Ice Age. The period was characterized by the expansion of European trade and the formation of European sea born Empires.

This was directly linked to advances in technology harnessing more of nature's power and towards the end of the period fossil-fuelled power. These two hundred years also saw the specialization of agricultural regions, which produced specific products for local and international markets.

What caused the Little Ice Age?

Maunder minimum
The cause of the Little Ice Age is unknown, but many people have pointed at the coincidence in low sunspot activity and the timing of the Little Ice. This so called Maunder Minimum1 coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, in particular during the period roughly from 1645 to 1715, when sunspots were a rare occurrence, as noted by solar observers such as Galileo. A minimum in sunspots, indicates an inactive and possibly colder sun and qonsequently less energy output to warm the earth.

North Atlantic Oscillation
The north Atlantic is one of the most climatically unstable regions in the world. This is caused by a complex interaction between the atmosphere and the ocean. The main feature of this is the North Atlantic Oscillation (NOA), a seesaw of atmospheric pressure between a persistent high over the Azores and an equally persistent low over Iceland. This is the "normal" pattern, but sometimes the pressure cells are trading places and that has severe consequences for the weather in Europe.

When the situation reverses, called a Negative NOA (high over Iceland and Low over Azores) the westerlies weaken or even reverse and cold air is streaming over Europe, causing a cold winter here. In negative NAO winters, it is much less stormy over the North Atlantic.

Any storms, which do occur, bring warm wet air from the ocean into the Mediterranean region. The small pressure difference allows northerly air to blow into Northern Europe making the winters dry and sunny but very cold here. There are strong indications that during the Little Ice Age the NOA was more often in a negative mode.

Volcanic eruptions are another possible cause - for example, the year after the Tambora eruption (1815) was known as the "year without a summer." But, the effect of such eruptions might be limited to only a few years so this can not have been the cause for the prolonged climatic variations associated with the Little Ice Age.
After 1870 the Little Ice Age made place for the slightly milder conditions of the 20th century.

Marginal regions
During the height of the Little Ice Age general, it was about 1 degree Celsius colder than at present. The Baltic Sea froze over, as did most of the rivers in Europe. Winters were bitterly cold and prolonged, reducing the growing season with several weeks. These conditions led to widespread crop failure, famine, and in some regions population decline.

The prices of grain increased and wine became difficult to produce in many areas and commercial vineyards vanished in England. Fishing also was bad as the cod migrated south to find warmer water. Storminess and flooding increased. In mountainous regions the tree line and snowline dropped. In addition glaciers advanced in the Alps and Northern Europe, overrunning towns and farms in the process.

Iceland was one of the hardest hit areas. Sea ice, which today is far to the north, came down around Iceland. In some years, it was difficult to bring a ship ashore anywhere along the coast. Grain became impossible to grow and even hay crops failed. Volcanic eruptions made life even harder. Iceland lost half of its population during the Little Ice Age.

Scandinavia was also hard hit by the colder conditions of the Little Ice Age. Tax records show many farms were destroyed by advancing ice and by melt water streams. Travellers in Scotland reported permanent snow cover over the Cairgorms in Scotland at an altitude of about 1200 metres. In the Alps, the glaciers advanced and bulldozed over towns.

Ice-dammed lakes burst periodically, destroying hundreds of buildings and killing many people. As late as 1930 the French Government commissioned a report to investigate the threat of the glaciers. They could not have foreseen that human induced global warming was to deal more effective with this problem than any committee ever could.

Flourishing of European culture
Despite the difficulties in marginal regions, culture and economy were flowering in Europe. This is most visible in the way that people transformed their environment during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Little Ice Age coincided with the maritime expansion of Europe and the creation of seaborne trading and later colonial empires. First came the Spanish and Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, English and other European nations. Key to this success was the development of shipbuilding technology which was a response to both trading, strategic but also climatic pressures.

Art and architecture also flourished, which is probably best embodied in the wonderful winter landscape paintings which can be considered a direct result of the Little Ice Age. These paintings show us skating people enjoying themselves, a sign that they were more than capable to withstand the hasher winter conditions and that they had also enough food. The latter is a key element in the success of European culture at that time.

Agricultural revolution
During the later Middle Ages., slowly but steadily farmers started to experiment with new agricultural methods, in order to adapt to increasingly unpredictable climates and also stimulated by the growth of profitable markets in growing cities and long distance trade.

This initially low technology agricultural revolution started in Flanders and the Netherlands in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Dutch farmers experimented with lay farming, the deliberate growing of animal fodder and cultivating grasslands for cattle. In addition they started systematic breeding of cows and the Frisian milk cow is probably the most famous example of this.

Another innovation was the continuous growing of specialized crops. Instead of letting valuable ground lay fallow, they planted peas, beans and especially nitrogen-rich clover, all of which provided food for humans and animals alike. The vegetables were rotated with grain, turnips and later potato for export but also for feeding dairy cattle. As a result of this system the amount of fallow land contracted rapidly until non was existent. Agriculture became an intensive activity.

The new intensive agriculture produced such a high surplus that Flanders and later the Netherlands could specialize and diversify their agricultural activity. With abundance of fodder, animal and dairy farming (think of Dutch cheese) became increasingly important. More meat, wool, and leather as well cheese cam on the market as the new agriculture broke the dependence on grain. At the same time farmers diversified into industrial crops such as flax, mustard and hops for brewing beer.

This agricultural revolution could not have succeeded when new ships to withstand the harsher climatic conditions imported large amounts of grain form the Baltic, undermining local grain production. These grain imports made the Flemish and Dutch economy independent from climatic fluctuations causing famine.

Land reclamation

Between 1600 and 1800, large areas of the Netherlands, England and some other countries around the North Sea were reclaimed. Notable examples are the draining of lakes in Holland and the reclamations in East Anglia.

The Dutch possessed sufficient technological expertise and a sufficient degree of organization to diffuse the worst effects of short term climatic variations. The Little Ice Age might have imposed more benefits than costs on Dutch society.

Extensive land reclamation and the use of new mechanical technology, as well as the intensive exploitation of natural resources (peat) turned liabilities into assets so powerful that they helped to forge the first modern economy in Europe.

Soon the new agriculture and reclamation technologies as well as other mechanical techniques were introduced in Britain where it was all taken a step further in terms of scale and later the improvement movement would make agriculture more scientific. In addition the mechanical technology would be used to develop mechanical machines driven by steam and a new fuel: coal.

It was the start of the Industrial Revolution and the transition from natural power, mainly derived from wind and water, to fossil fuel based industries. Unlocking the power of fossil fuel would transform the relationship between human culture and the natural environment in ways the world had never seen before.

1. The Maunder Minimum is named after astronomer E.W. Maunder who discovered the absence of sunspots during that period. Recently published data suggests that the Sun expanded during the Maunder Minimum and its rotation slowed. A larger and slower Sun, it is speculated, might also mean a cooler Sun that provides less heat to Earth. (Just why the Sun expands and contracts is not entirely understood.

Last edited by Redsunset; 23-04-2009 at 15:23.
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23-04-2009, 16:03   #22
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And so begins the start of another spotless stretch.

Daily Sun: 23 Apr 09 The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI
Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 22 Apr 2009

NEW: Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 1 days
2009 total: 98 days (88%)
Since 2004: 609 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
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23-04-2009, 23:58   #23
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I'm not too sure how much science there is behind the 2012 massive solar flare predictions, possibly some are being swayed by the Mayan calendar business, which seems like one of those Nostradamus-style predictions to me. The Mayan calendar has been running through cycles of 260 years much as our calendar runs through 100 year cycles, and while they have a legend of big things happening at the end of each grand cycle, evidently this is not always the case. And one is reminded of the fizzle-out of the Y2K non-event.

Having said that, I do subscribe to the view that sooner or later (whether in 2012 or later) the odds favour another giant solar storm that will certainly throw the earth's electrical grids into chaos. The largest event of recent years, in March 1989, had that effect on the Quebec (eastern Canada) grid, and I remember the bright auroral display at that time, living fairly close by in Ontario. However, our power didn't go out for more than a few minutes. In Quebec it was more like one or two days.

You would think that the world would have 24-48 hours warning of such an event as the 1859 flares, and it might be possible to stage a planned outage of most electricity before the magnetic storm hit the earth, then bring back the power in a controlled manner after the storm faded out. This would require more international co-operation than we presently might expect, but it could be done region by region, the world's electrical grids are basically continental in scale, or regions within continents. If North America managed its grid successfully and Asia did not, the aftermath would be different in each case, although there would be some effects either way.

You also have to wonder how safe our electrical grids are from terrorist or hostile nation attack, there are many stories circulating about (for example) China's ability to program into computer networks and read what's going on from an unknown safe vantage point (in cyber-space terms) then have the ability to throw a big old monkey wrench into what seems like a secure system at some unknown future time (for some unforeseen reason too).

Have a nice day, as they say.
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24-04-2009, 13:01   #24
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This image was taken at 11:36am this morning.just amazing.we take it so much for granted,along with lots of other stuff.

NEW: Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 2 days
2009 total: 99 days (88%)
Since 2004: 610 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days

However our not so little beauty burst into life yesterday.

NOT-SO-QUIET SUN: The sun produced an unexpected burst of activity yesterday, April 23rd, when an enormous prominence rose over the northeastern limb and erupted. SOHO recorded the blast from beginning to end with a series of high-cadence UV snapshots. Click on the image to set the scene in motion:
The complex explosion produced not one but two billion-ton coronal mass ejections (CMEs): movie. An impact from such a double-CME would almost surely spark magnetic storms around the poles of Earth, but it is not heading in our direction. The chance of auroras remains low.
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27-04-2009, 23:56   #25
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Daily Sun: 27 Apr 09

The sun is blank--no sunspots. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 27 Apr 2009

NEW: Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 6 days
2009 total: 103 days (88%)
Since 2004: 614 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days

Coronal Holes:

A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole will probably miss Earth, sailing high above our planet's north pole
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01-05-2009, 00:01   #26
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SUNSPOT 1016: A ring-shaped sunspot numbered 1016 has emerged near the sun's equator. Its magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of old Solar Cycle 23. Until these old cycle sunspots go away,the solar minimum shall remain.

30 Apr 09

Sunspot 1016 is a member of old Solar Cycle 23. Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot number: 15
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 29 Apr 2009

NEW: Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 0 days
2009 total: 104 days (88%)
Since 2004: 615 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days
explanation | more info
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12-05-2009, 23:20   #27
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more interesting stuff on the sun

and in this one Scientist David Archibald explains in detail the phenomonen that sunspots have more to do with the earths climate than other factors


Today's image is a magnetic map of the sun. Two active regions are circled. Their polarity identifies them as members of new Solar Cycle 24, but they lack the dark cores required of true sunspots. So, in spite of these lively magnetic imprints, we must still say "the sun is blank--no sunspots." Credit: SOHO/MDI

Sunspot number: 0
What is the sunspot number?
Updated 10 May 2009

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 10 days
2009 total: 112 days (86%)
Since 2004: 623 days
Typical Solar Min: 485 days

NOT A SUNSPOT: Solar activity comes in many forms. Today, astronomers are monitoring an enormous patch of seething magnetism churning through the sun's surface in a splash of bright, white froth. It is not a sunspot, but it is worth a look:
Sylvain Weiller took the picture this morning from his backyard observatory in Saint Rémy lès Chevreuse, France. "I used a Colorado SolarMax90," he says. That is an "H-alpha" telescope tuned to the red glow of solar hydrogen.
The active region could be a "proto-sunspot"--a sunspot struggling to form, but not quite able to organize its own magnetic fields into a coherent, dark core. Or it could be a "sunspot corpse"--the decaying remains of a farside sunspot turning toward Earth at the end of its short life. Whatever it is, its magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of new Solar Cycle 24--and that makes it a sign of things to come.

Last edited by Redsunset; 12-05-2009 at 23:35.
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13-05-2009, 03:12   #28
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For all of you who believe harsh times are ahead ,watch this survival vid
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19-05-2009, 02:59   #29
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great thread youve got going here.Wish I had read it sooner.Im hoping for a nice frosty minimum too.It would be a nice change from these record breaking summers.

Lol gotta love the 2012 hype.Great video.Someone should tell him that most mountain ranges sit on top of fault lines.

With you 100% on the moonLanding.How stupid do they think we are?They were going to the moon every weekend,mucking about playing golf 35 yrs ago,and now they need 20 yrs and $20 billion just to go once.What,was it some futuristic alien technology that theyve now lost.Maybe its like the movie Idiocracy.

Looking forward to more insightful updates,

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19-05-2009, 09:34   #30
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Originally Posted by redsunset View Post
For all of you who believe harsh times are ahead ,watch this survival vid

Wait till they fix hubble, then we,ll see whats coming....i suppose?
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