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The Solar Storm of 2012-2013

Updated on May 15, 2012
Northern Lights
Northern Lights

Imagine, you are parked with your lover at "make-out peak", a local hill that overlooks a city of twinkling lights at night. The moon in unusually large. You cannot help but notice. As you and your lover cozy up and are in a lovers "daze", suddenly on the horizon is a beautiful display of "Northern Lights". This is very odd both of you think. The night lightens up. As you stare at the colorful lights on the horizon, just below you, miles away, sections of the city lights flicker like a Christmas tree. Then, turn black. Startled, the lovers "daze" vanishes as both of you get out of the car moving to the edge of the cliff. Its a deathly drop down. Other sections of your city flicker, then, turn black. One after another until your city seems to vanish into the darkness.

That is what happened on March 13, 1989, in Quebec, Canada, when a solar storm from the sun impacted Earth. Solar debris or particles traveled at the speed of light and bombarded our planet causing five major, critical power lines to sizzle. The charged particles also damaged electrical systems as far away as New Jersey. People living further away from the impact zone, in Texas or Florida, saw the beautiful display of aurora borealis, aka, northern lights. Quebec was black for up to nine hours. In 1921, a major solar storm knocked out most of America's telegraph system. In August, 1859, the US was hit with a major sunstorm. That is when the midnight black sky turned to daylight for a short period in the Rocky Mountains.

Already, reports on a variety news networks have mentioned that solar debris from the sunstorm eruptions on the sun are hurling towards Earth. The first charged particles in the early waves will have little noticeable impact, but airlines are changing some routes. The coming storm for 2013 is large according to some reports. Should it hit the US or elsewhere, the electrical grid will be shorted out when the sun's particles collide with the magnetic field around our planet. That creates the beautiful scene our lovers witnessed. The particles create current that enters the electrical grid via transformers that passes it onto the transmission lines. If strong enough, sizzle and destroy transformers or lines. Then, you have rolling black outs. Oddly, mankind's electrical system is like an antenna to the solar particles. More minor storms create numerous communication problems in the modern world.

Scientists feel that unless the size of the 2013 storm is greatly underestimated, the worse that will happen will be rolling black outs lasting hours to days, at most.


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