Friday, December 13, 2013

Now THAT'S A Solar Storm...!

No matter how advanced we think we are sometimes, we should stop and remember who's in charge!

When ol' Sol wants to, He can spit out some nasty stuff aimed right at the big blue marble we live on, and more times than not it has some devastating effect for us all! Just imagine what would happen today if we suffered from something like the Carrington Event again!

The Devastating Solar Storm Of 1859
By Aaron Short on Thursday, December 12, 2013

In 1859, the Earth was hit by a solar storm that extended the northern and southern lights all the way to the equator and set telegraph poles across the planet on fire. If the same event were to happen today, it could knock planes out of the sky, destroy Earth’s communication infrastructure, irradiate any astronauts in space, and plunge whole cities into darkness for up to a year.

Richard Carrington was an astronomer who noticed something very strange on the surface of the sun in 1859: Large black spots had appeared across the star’s surface. While Carrington was still trying to make sense of this, he saw two globes of bright light erupting from the spots and shooting into space. Hours later, the Earth was hit by a geomagnetic storm with the strength of 10 hydrogen bombs.

The worldwide telegraph network was smashed, severing communication across the world, with telegraph poles exploding into showers of sparks. Later, there were reports of telegraph machines being so full of energy that they could work for up to 90 seconds unplugged from any power source. Perhaps it was this excess power that caused telegraph operators to receive powerful electric shocks or simply watch in horror as their machines burst into flames.

Around the planet, the skies were bright and colorful as the northern and southern lights were either much stronger than usual or simply appeared in places that they never had before, reaching as far as the middle of the equator. Some places were so bright that people rose in the middle of the night thinking it was sunrise or simply thought that the sky was burning.

This became known as The Carrington Event—the greatest solar storm of the last 500 years. If the same event were to happen today, it could knock out our satellites, affecting everything from GPS to credit card transactions. Next it could destroy crucial power grid transformers (which are hard to replace), overloading the power supplies of large cities and leaving them without power for up to a year. Luckily, our ability to detect such events means that we will be forewarned by about 12 hours . . .

Those of us that try and prepare for the unexpected may or may not have considered an event of this magnitude. If the experienced Prepper is taken aback by an event like this, just imagine what the totally unprepared would face! It would put a totally different face on things, that's for sure! Who knows-prayer might become more common than it has been lately!

Coffee out on the patio again this morning. It's close to 50 and we have some sunshine on the way!


Mamahen said...

Wow...if I had ever heard of this I had forgotten it. I need to dig a little deeper on this. The patio sounds nice. 17° here is still to cold for me....

Chickenmom said...

We would be plunged right back to living in 1859. Don't think most people today could handle that. Please, please send all that warm weather up here!

linda m said...

I would love coffee on the patio as I am so tired of being cold. Very interesting topic this morning. I wonder how many people would be left entirely useless. Through past experience I have learned how to be a "pioneer woman"; not that I want to be. I enjoy my modern conveniences. It would be very interesting to say the least. Have a great weekend.

JO said...

I don't remember reading or hearing about this either. But this is interesting. We should all always be prepared. I'm not saying to hoard lots of stuff but have enough to get buy for at least 2 weeks. I even carry extra canned goods and peanut butter in my camper not to mention plenty of water.

It is back down to the high 30's at night again and low 60's for the day but I won't complain since others have it so much worse. Coffee on the patio sounds nice.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
I don't think I had ever heard about it until I ran across it in my research. I'm sure you can find more on Google!

Guarantee that it's warmer on my patio than at your house!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Phyllis...
I think you're right about most folks not being able to handle it!

Hey, it ain't exactly warm, but better than some places!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Linda...
Those lessons that were learned the hard way are the ones that could help the most!

Liking the modern stuff, but knowing how to do without...priceless!

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Jo...
In stocking up on extra stuff, may I suggest that you don't forget some extra T.P.

People paper could be like gold when no one can get more!

thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Since today is Friday the 13th, you never know what to expect. BTW, the sun spues out enormous clouds of charged particles quite often, but like you said, we are just a small blue marble a long way from the sun and the chances of getting hit full on with an CME is slim, but it does happen and if it does, it would shut down the grid in the north for sure. Since the charged particles enter at the poles, the further north or south you live the worse the effects will be.