Signs in the sun

The scriptures say that in advance of the rapture and the ensuing Tribulation, “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,”

The sun has been interestingly busy lately. Though the sunspot activity has been strangely down, prominences are up. Big ones. The Solar & Heliospheric Observatory, a division of NASA pick of the week states “No less than three prominences erupted over a nine-hour period (Mar. 13-14, 2010) as the STEREO (Behind) spacecraft captured the action in an extreme UV wavelength of light. Prominences, which are cooler clouds of gas tethered to the Sun by magnetic forces, often become unstable and break away out into space. But, it is rare to see three of them erupt in such a short span of time.” [italics mine]

Wow. Three prominences breaking away. Rare. However, just a few weeks later we have this:

The SOHO pick of the week site reported “The largest eruptive prominence observed in years blasted into space (April 13, 2010) and SOHO was lucky enough to have caught a key moment of it. As observed in extreme UV light, the plasma cloud was caught about mid-step in its liftoff above the Sun’s surface. (Ground-based observers says the eruption took about two hours.) It was not obvious what triggered the breakaway, but it may have been associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). Prominences are cooler clouds of gases that hover above the Sun, tethered there by magnetic forces. Occasionally, as seen here, they break free and blast into space.”

Here is a few-second video of the prominence blasting away from the sun’s limb. It gives a great idea as to the sun’s power. The video is compressed into a few seconds but is actually 19 hours of activity. Start by looking at the sun’s 11 o’clock position.

It’s when the CME enters earth’s atmosphere is when things get hairy. The magnetism from the ejection plays havoc with our electronics. Usually the CMS’s are light enough by the time they hit earth only to give us some vivid Auroras. But if a CME is powerful enough when it hits earth, it would have the same effect as an Electro-magnetic pulse, the effects from a nuclear bomb. All electronics would be zapped.

But back to the actual solar activity lately. The ‘largest one in years’ blasted off from the sun on April, but a week later another huge one blasted away again. Shucks, and they said such things were occasional!

Spaceweather.com reports:
“Another huge prominence blasted away from the sun yesterday, April 19th. The massive tendril of plasma was nearly a quarter the diameter of the sun itself when the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) snapped this picture:”

The eruption catapulted a billion-ton Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) out of the sun’s atmosphere. Good thing it wasn’t aiming for earth. We should feel no effects.

Spaceweather.com source: “The sun is powerful active, and much about how and why it does things stumps astronomers. Back here on earth, Iceland’s active Eyjafjallajokull volcano is famous for its paralyzing ash, which has grounded thousands of planes in Europe and disrupted travel worldwide. Even more amazing, however, is its white-hot lightning:”

” “Seeing this lightning crackle among the exploding lava and ash was the experience of a lifetime,” says Olivier Vandeginste, who took the picture on April 18th from Hvolsvollur, Iceland. It is well known that volcanoes produce lightning, but scientists aren’t sure why.”

Eyjafjallajokull  is a gentle giant compared to her neighbor, Katla. When Katla erupted in 1821 it lasted over a year and caused worldwide famine because the spring and summer simply never came. History has shown that when Eyjafjallajokull erupts, Katla always follows. “Locals Believe Katla Volcano in Iceland Near Eyjafjallajokull Will Erupt in Seven Days” “The earthquake build up since the beginning of the year and subsequent eruptions at Eyjafjallajokull seem to be triggering the larger neighboring volcano, Katla. For the last two days, Katla has shown a dramatic 200% rise in activity. Geophysicists at Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences call Katla a vicious volcano that will be locally and globally damaging.”

Another Iceland Volcano To Erupt? Katla Could Be The Worst “The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull has grounded much of international travel to a halt, but if a nearby volcano named Mount Katla should erupt, it has the potential to be many times more devastating, says a Texas A&M University volcanologist who has done research in the area for decades. Jay Miller who has made numerous trips to Iceland over the past 25 years to study the volcanoes there and currently is a research scientist in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, says that an eruption from Katla could dwarf anything seen so far from Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced Eye-jaff-jalla-jok-kul). “It’s a much larger volcano, and in the past, we know its eruptions have been much larger, too,” Miller explains.”

The following juxtaposition interested me. The Drudge Report had this Iceland ash cloud photo on the top of the page for over a day recently:

It reminded me of the recent fictional movie 2012, which alleges that the Mayan prophecy of the world ending will come to pass in dramatic and CGI-laden fashion:

I think it is one thing to read in the news about volcanic eruptions, solar disturbances and such, but actually seeing the force, majesty, and fear-inducing, raw power of these things is another. And when you see them, remember that “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Col 1:17) Jesus is the One who holds it together, takes it apart, and renews it. (Acts 3:21). Therefore,

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.” Acts 3:19-20