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The Carrington Event – The Solar Storm of 1859 Inspired New Family Drama

Updated on August 10, 2015
The Carrington Event – The Solar Storm of 1859 Inspired New Family Drama
The Carrington Event – The Solar Storm of 1859 Inspired New Family Drama | Source

The Carrington Event - Solar Storm of 1859

The Carrington Event

On the morning of September 1, 1859, British astronomer Richard Carrington of London, documented and later described as “two patches of intensely bright and white light” erupting from the sunspots he had observing and sketching. Five minutes later he again noted that the fireballs vanished, but within hours their impact would be felt across the entire globe. The geomagnetic disturbances were strong enough that U.S. telegraph operators reported sparks leaping from their equipment and northern lights were reported as far south as Cuba and Honolulu, while southern lights were seen as far north as Santiago, Chile.

Note: Carrington, was the first to realize the link between activity on the sun and geomagnetic disturbances on Earth

What are Solar Flares:

A solar flare is an enormous explosion on the Sun that occurs when energy stored in 'twisted' magnetic fields is suddenly released. Most often above sunspots and this explosion produces a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, including from radio waves to x-rays and gamma rays.

Scientists classify solar flares according to their brightness in the x-ray wavelengths.

  • X-class flares are the biggest of the three; they are major events that can trigger radio blackouts around the whole world and long-lasting radiation storms in the upper atmosphere.
  • M-class flares are medium-sized; they normally cause brief radio blackouts that affect Earth's polar regions. Minor radiation storms sometimes follow an M-class flare.
  • C-class flares are small with few noticeable consequences here on Earth

For a more detailed explanation of the mechanics of solar flares Visit: NASA.GOV

What would happen if a Carrington Event Today?

According to top researchers that specialize in space weather and its effect on earth, a Carrington event could be quite destructive. Loss of satellite communications, pipelines and blown power grids top the list of concerns.

In a worst case scenario for the US for example, it could leave up to 40 million people in the Northeast without power — perhaps for years — as utilities struggled to replace thousands of damaged transformers.

Made for T.V -  The Carrington Event
Made for T.V - The Carrington Event

Made for T.V - The Carrington Event

Producer by Rob Underhill, the “Carrington Event” is a new six-season television series that focuses on what happens in America after a massive solar fare, similar to the solar storm of 1859 hits the Earth. It is a classic disaster/survival type drama that focuses primarily on what could happen if the world was suddenly left without power, communication and basic human necessities.

Read more about the Carrington Event made for T.V Drama at


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