Strange Space Weather Alert: Interplanetary Shock Wave Hit the Earth, May 26, 2019

Updated 5/29/2019. The earth was hit by an interplanetary shockwave from space on May 26, 2019 and this unexpectedly caused our solar wind density to abruptly quadruple and the interplanetary magnetic field to double in strength. The shockwave caused an unexpected effect, similar to a solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), a burst of energy from the sun. There were correlated, and possibly related, unexpected satellite? Internet outages with some service disruption for California and Oregon starting at 2 PM on Sunday, May 26th, lasting up to 26 hours.

INTERPLANETARY SHOCK WAVE HITS EARTH: A minor interplanetary shock wave hit Earth on May 26th at approximately 22:00 UT. The CME-like disturbance was unexpected. It caused the density of the solar wind around Earth to abruptly quadruple, while the interplanetary magnetic field doubled in strength. Minor geomagnetic storms are possible on May 27th as our planet passes through the shock wave’s wake. …(Spaceweather)

The time of the wave hitting was, 22:00 UT is 3 PM California time. One Internet company reported that their outage started at 2 PM California time, however.

Did you sense it? I wonder if some people can detect things like this with some as yet unrecognized sense. Of course, if the Internet goes out, that isn’t hard to detect with our known senses.

What is an interplanetary shock wave?

It is a supersonic disturbance in the gaseous material of the solar wind. These waves are usually delivered by coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Indeed, this one might have been a minor CME that left the sun unrecognized earlier this week.

Alternately, it might have been an unusually sharp co-rotating interaction region (CIR). CIRs are transition zones between slow- and fast-moving streams of solar wind. They contain plasma density gradients and magnetic fields that often do a good job sparking auroras. (HighheartLife)

Interplanetary shockwaves can sometimes cause electric blue auroras, as in the photo above from April 20, 2018.

Auroras are usually green–a sign of oxygen. Rare blue auroras are caused by nitrogen molecules. Energetic particles striking N2+ at the upper limits of Earth’s atmosphere can produce an azure glow during intense geomagnetic storms. (SpaceWeatherGallery)

It is good to remember that strong space weather can have ground effects on earth, including causing massive power outages. This has happened in the past:

Magnetic storm activity can induce geoelectric fields in the Earth’s conducting lithosphere.[28] Corresponding voltage differentials can find their way into electric power grids through ground connections, driving uncontrolled electric currents that interfere with grid operation, damage transformers, trip protective relays and sometimes cause blackouts. This complicated chain of causes and effects was demonstrated during the magnetic storm of March 1989which caused the complete collapse of the Hydro-Québec electric-power grid in Canada, temporarily leaving nine million people without electricity. The possible occurrence of an even more intense storm led to operational standards intended to mitigate induction-hazard risks, while reinsurance companies commissioned revised risk assessments(Wikipedia)

We may be able to make our communication systems more immune to this sort of thing in the future, but unfortunately, interplanetary shockwaves from space hitting the Earth are currently beyond our control.

Note: There may be continuing aftershocks today, May 27, 2019.

Also of note is this little known fact, one we are still attempting to verify: Although your satellite dish is pointing at the sky, according to tech support at one satellite Internet provider, their signal to California customers actually curves around the earth from a big dish in Arizona, not from a satellite in space. They aren’t saying what caused the problem with Arizona “beam” on Sunday at this time. The ground based source seems contrary to all of the information on their web site:

“As the name suggests, satellite service relies on an equatorial satellite to deliver data from the provider’s Internet backbone connection to the reception dish at subscriber residences.”

“Satellite beams refer to areas that a specific satellite can reach or cover.” (Exede)

If you realize, however, that radio waves follow the curve of the earth’s surface due to a mirror-like effect of the ionosphere, then a major disruption from a CME-like shockwave causing an outage from a signal bounced to California from Arizona does make sense. Having our solar wind density abruptly quadruple would change the ionosphere:

The solar wind, magnetosphere, and ionosphere form a single system driven by the transfer of energy and momentum from the solar wind to the magnetosphere and ionosphere. Variations in the solar wind can lead to disruptions of space- and ground-based systems … (ScienceMag)


The distance from Tuscon, AZ to my part of California is about 1,000 miles, about the distance above the earth of most Low Earth Orbit communication satellites. ViaSat, however, has a wide reach with a much higher geostationary satellite.

ViaSat-2 will be positioned in an orbit about 22,300 miles above the equator

You can’t have a Low Earth Orbit be geostationary, as far as we can determine, so a fixed satellite dish would have to beam a signal to and from a target in space over 22,236 miles away.

A geostationary orbit can be achieved only at an altitude very close to 35,786 km (22,236 mi) and directly above the equator. This equates to an orbital velocity of 3.07 km/s (1.91 mi/s) and an orbital period of 1,436 minutes, which equates to almost exactly one sidereal day (23.934461223 hours). This ensures that the satellite will match the Earth’s rotational period and has a stationary footprint on the ground. All geostationary satellites have to be located on this ring.

Arizona seems more and more attractive. Is my dish actually pointing at Arizona? Not really. Mine is pointing far off the coast of Mexico as far as I can tell. Weird. Then again, who knows how the bounce works with the curve of the earth? Any Satellite dish installers care to comment?

Not saying its aliens, but…

Some who hear about unexpected effects like this, especially since interplanetary shockwaves are not uncommon, have wondered if all the disruption was caused by something else, like UFO activity. There is no evidence available for any such connection at this time. There were UFO reports near Lake Michigan on the same day:

UFO Sighting in Lake, Michigan on 2019-05-26 23:50:00 – 3 starlike objects

6 of us were sitting around a bon fire talking about stars and ufo’s when someone said “there’s your ufo’s” we all looked to see 3 starlike objects flying across the sky perfectly spaced apart. looked separate but given they stayed perfectly spaced apart, they could have been one object. i felt it was three though. we began speculating what they were. they didn’t have lights like a plane. no blinking. it was almost like three satellites following each other close but some thought they were too low and too uniform. i’ve never seen anything like it. they moved too fast for planes or satellites and crossed the sky at a pretty good clip before they we’re too far away to see. someone else in a darker part of michigan reported more behind them/it but we couldn’t see those because of the fire and lights from the house. (UFOMG)

UFO Stalker is a website updated in real time with the latest UFO reports.

TrueStrange recommends keeping your distance from any UFOs and/or EBEs you may encounter, when avoidance is possible. They could be friendly, but it is best to be cautious.

If you “want to believe,” there was an Arizona sighting on that day in Sierra Vista reported to MUFON, and listed on UFOStalker as happening at 2019-05-26 20:40.

“Line of five lights evenly spaced proceeding in a straight line. lights were about the brightness of a star. not blinking.”

Busy day for non-blinking star-like UFO sightings across multiple states, it seems.

2 thoughts on “Strange Space Weather Alert: Interplanetary Shock Wave Hit the Earth, May 26, 2019

  1. Perhaps this event was the bow-shockwave of UNPRECEDENTED Comet C/2017 K2. It would be very interesting if telemetry is available that indicated the general direction of this event. Current official information on Comet k2 is sparse to none.

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