The Sun is a Mass of Cyclically Furious Gas
June 15, 2010 12:46 PM Subscribe
posted by filthy light thief (52 comments total)
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"The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity." Dr. Richard Fisher
and other sun-gazing scientists recently discussed
the upcoming peak in the 11-year sunspot cycle
. Due to the ever-increasing humans' reliance on electrical systems, the storm could leave a multi-billion pound damage bill and "potentially devastating" problems for governments.
Constant improvements in satellite designs have assisted in
bracing for a solar superstorm
, an effort that comes in part by studying the impacts records of activity from past peaks in solar storms. System limits are set based on significant solar storm-triggered events in the past
, though the largest magnetic storm on record was before the modern understanding of solar events
. The solar storm of 1859
, also known as The Carrington Event
, when "telegraphs ran on electric air
," was experienced around the world.
Last year on the blue, predictions for imminent solar storms
(an "archived" view
of the New Scientist article
) was followed two months later by reports that there had been a remarkable lack of activity - the deepest minimum since 1913
. That trough was potentially coming to an end in May 2009, with small sun spots showing up with increased frequency. Dean Pesnell
of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
made the comment: "Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013, but use a pencil.
News hype of solar storms being the newest threat to all human life on earth
to NASA's creation of a new way for the Earth to be destroyed
are a great deal of hot air. There are three key NASA systems that are already tracking solar activity: Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory
(also known as STEREO
), Solar Dynamics Observatory
), and Advanced Composition Explorer
), and with adequate warning, most susceptible systems can be readied for impacts. Individuals don't need to make any special preparation for a solar storm. The standard emergency kit of water and food and first aid supplies will work just fine.