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The sun is about to get a lot more active, which could have ill effects on Earth. So to prepare, top sun scientists met Tuesday to discuss the best ways to protect Earth's satellites and other vital systems from the coming solar storms.
People of the 21st century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. But smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity.
A major solar storm could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina, warned the National Academy of Sciences in a 2008 report, "Severe Space Weather Events—Societal and Economic Impacts."
Luckily, much of the damage can be mitigated if managers know a storm is coming. That's why better understanding of solar weather, and the ability to give advance warning, is especially important.
Putting satellites in 'safe mode' and disconnecting transformers can protect electronics from damaging electrical surges.
"I believe we're on the threshold of a new era in which space weather can be as influential in our daily lives as ordinary terrestrial weather." Fisher said. "We take this very seriously indeed."
In early September in 1859, telegraph wires suddenly shorted out in the United States and Europe, igniting widespread fires. Colorful aurora, normally visible only in polar regions, were seen as far south as Rome and Hawaii.
The 1989 coronal mass ejection that knocked out power to all of Quebec, Canada measured -589 nT, Brekke said. The 1859 perfect storm was estimated to have been -1,760 nT. Brekke used three exclamation points in his e-mail delivering that number.
(...) caused a massive coronal mass ejection (CME), to travel directly toward Earth, a journey of 18 hours (...) .On September 1–2, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred, causing the failure of telegraph systems all over Europe and North America. Aurorae were seen around the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright, the glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning.
Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire.
Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares
8th: As Marduk pulled out the spear from the ground, lifted him and threw him with force down on the ground world.
And while Marduk did this, ordered Ishtar the stars to broadcast a new light, invisible.
Originally posted by Wolftotem
Sounds like a good time for a savvy high-tech inventor to come out with a magnetic surge protector to shield our electrical systems and devices.
Originally posted by stopthathurts
One need only go back a few years, maybe a decade to see real effects from solar storms. I forget the year but the last good sized one knocked out satellites and some earthbound electronics. That one was nowhere near as big as what they are talking about coming up. Nuclear weapons detonated in the atmosphere cause the same effect. Look up EMP,Electromagnetic Pulse.
Rumsfeld said we "dropped" one on Baghdad at the outset of GWII. I'm not familiar with any other weapon that can do that. He called it an EMP bomb. Remember when they lost all power in the city? It wasn't due to knocking out all power generators or totally destroying the power grid physically, it was an EM pulse that fried every bit of electronic gear in the area. Kinda gives "bomb 'em back to the stone age" new meaning,huh?....or does it?
Originally posted by stopthathurts
reply to post by Bedlam
Well thank you very much. In my defense Rummy did call it an "EMP bomb".