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Mnemonix

Implication of solar flares?

9 posts in this topic

First, I'd like to apologize for any ignorance and request that you pardon any. Teach me with patience and I will learn.

What are the implications of a solar storm, solar flare, or coronal mass ejection as I've been hearing?

How bad will the damage be?

I understand that earth has been hit by something like that.

Thank you!

In the meantime I'll be doing some reading to better educate myself :)

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Earth has had many solar flares

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The power grid may go out...

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Not only Power Grids. every electronics in the world could go toast is there is a very large solar eruptions larger that the ones we have faced till now.

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Earth has been hit with massive sloar flares before. This was back in the 60's long before we had cell phones,gps, ect. The power pimps have worked a a way to shut the grids off and back on in a massive sloar flare.

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The power grid may go out...

Sounds nasty.

Edited by Mnemonix

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I remember reading something long ago and far away ( like 30+ years ago) that solar flares are thought to help evolution / genetic mutation because not All the radiation is stopped at/by the ozone or magnetic layers. however i have no memory as to where i read it and cannot give any research hints on that.

i know that they say a serious enough flare will damage and or fry most electronics ( Satellites , air traffic control radar and airplane computer systems, computers, TVs, Radio equipment of all types, cell phones, GPS systems, power grids, new fangled digital cameras etc.)) but i have yet to see that here in seattle.

I have also heard and again i don't remember where ( but I heard this long before the movie 2012 came out) that some of the radiation found in a flare can actually act like a microwave and help heat up the planet's core. ( this suggestion is where the idea for the movie 2012 came from )

Edited by mysticwerewolf

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The Carrington Event of 1859:

A Super Solar Flare

At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England's foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.

sunspot_med.gif Sunspots sketched by Richard Carrington on Sept. 1, 1859. Copyright: Royal Astronomical Society:

On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and "being somewhat flurried by the surprise," Carrington later wrote, "I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled." He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.

It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.

Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

"What Carrington saw was a white-light solar flare—a magnetic explosion on the sun," explains David Hathaway, solar physics team lead at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Now we know that solar flares happen frequently, especially during solar sunspot maximum. Most betray their existence by releasing X-rays (recorded by X-ray telescopes in space) and radio noise (recorded by radio telescopes in space and on Earth). In Carrington's day, however, there were no X-ray satellites or radio telescopes. No one knew flares existed until that September morning when one super-flare produced enough light to rival the brightness of the sun itself.

"It's rare that one can actually see the brightening of the solar surface," says Hathaway. "It takes a lot of energy to heat up the surface of the sun!"

That's the solar flare that is dreaded by everyone today. It would effectively destroy the modern world---electricity, internet, satellites, cascading effects that are almost unimaginable---everything would collapse. It could happen again, we have no defense, and are incredibly vulnerable, far beyond the society of 1859.

Edited by linttrap

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