reply to post by psychedeliack
Does this headline make anybody else sick?!
We're fearful little buggers aren't we?
Sun's rage could darken high-tech Earth
Radio communication is knocked out. Beepers and cell phones fall silent. Power blackouts shut down subways, elevators and traffic signals during rush
High above Earth, delicate electronics on military, scientific and commercial satellites sizzle and quit.
Just in time for the year 2000, when some fear computer systems will go haywire anyway, a new worst-case scenario is coming: A raging fury on the sun,
93 million miles away, could disrupt life as we know it on Earth.
But scientists believe that the planet is in for perhaps the most intense solar storm in recorded history. Beginning in January, the sun will reach
the peak of its 11-year seasonal cycle, resulting in solar flares and explosions that each can send waves of energy equal to a million 100-megaton
bombs speeding toward Earth.
And that's when cosmic convulsions could begin.
Have they frightened you into subscribing to their magazine yet?
If the superheated, electrically charged gas reaches Earth's upper atmosphere, it will create an over-electrified field that could block electronic
transmissions to and from satellites. Electrical charges could build up on the surfaces of satellites, triggering phantom signals or sending the
spacecraft out of orbit.
On Earth, excess electromagnetic energy from the sun could surge along power lines, shorting circuits and burning out equipment.
"This could be one of the biggest" sun storms ever, says JoAnn Joselyn, who heads a panel studying "solar maximum" at the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo.
All signs point to this being a much more powerful solar maximum than average. Scientists have plotted 23 solar cycles to follow the sun's behavior
the past three centuries.
"It has been years since the space environment has been as disturbed as we are expecting," Joselyn says. "During that time, technology has become
more vulnerable as electronics have become smaller and more delicate."
A decade ago, when the last solar maximum hit, there were about 870,000 cell phones in the USA. Today, Americans use more than 40 million of the
phones, many of which rely on satellites 22,300 miles above Earth to relay signals, the Electronics Industries Association says.
Don't forget, this prediction is for the year 2000!
Even as they seek to spread the word about solar maximum, scientists are reluctant to portray it as a doomsday event.
"It would be irresponsible for anyone to take that kind of position," says Richard Canfield, a solar physicist at Montana State University-Bozeman.
"What we're doing now is our homework, so when this happens, we've got our ducks in a row. But it's important not to sensationalize this or make
it out to be like Chicken Little."
-- excerpt from article published in USA TODAY 6/24/99
"... reluctant to portray it as a doomsday event."
Unbelievable!!! In other words... it could be
, but they won't say.
This is just another fine example of how people can work themselves into a panic, with a little help from our beloved media.
Observe how people love to use words like monstrous
, and violent
when referring to the upcoming solar max
Why not "fascinating" or "beautiful" (when referring to the northern light activity) or "awe-inspiring" ... but that wouldn't get the desired
The desired result
being the average person's attention. Sad.