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Solar Flares

I was reading this magazine article while flying yesterdays. It was on solar flares. One more thing to worry about. haha.

Solar flares are natural and happen often. These are normally no big deal but what about the event of a major flare?

Solar Flare

Back in the mid 1800’s such an event did take place. A British astronomer recorded the event which only took a few minutes. The solar storm that followed interrupted telegraph service, compasses spun out of control and electrical currents filled the sky.

In the late 1980’s an even that was MUCH smaller took place. This flare caused a solar storm that took down NE Canada’s power grid. It took 90 seconds to take out the power to six million people. The power was re-routed after several hours but it took months to repair the damage done.

It is suggested that an event on the scale of the 1800’s flare would take out present day satellite, general use electrical equipment and power grids. If all of these were go at once, it may take months if not years to rebuild. Can we live with out things like lights, news, TV, etc.?

On another note, flares seem to run in cycles.  The next estimated flare is in 2012.

solar wind

solar wind

What are your thoughts?

Rob

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