Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)
Another thread has mentioned Peter Taylor and his news of a forthcoming solar flare, unlike anything witnessed since 1859.
I saw Peter Taylor speak at the Totnes Truth Fest. When he spoke about this flare, or Carrington Event, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, my heart went hollow and something "clicked", I knew what he was talking about could quite possibly happen in the near future. Maybe it was the hushed tones Peter Taylor spoke in that made it all much more dramatic.
"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."
"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."
"When a large solar flare occurs the geomagnetic currents hit the earth and the power lines pick them up. This is called geomagnetically induced currents (GIC). A major solar storm can overwhelm the system. The solar storm of 1989 that blacked out Quebec took only 90 seconds from the initial event to a complete blackout. This causes a cascading affect that if severe enough can cascade beyond the affecting power company. Our power grid is so interconnected today, that a failure in one area can cascade to numerous other areas quickly."
"if a similar event occurred today, it could cause $1 to $2 trillion dollars in damage to the power systems and technological infrastructure and take between four to ten years for a complete recovery. Some areas could be without power for years. Its not just the lights, but electricity controls everything from the water supply, phone service, banking and finance, internet and fuel pipelines to name a few."
Recently, Southern Electric undertook a massive overhaul of the electricity sub-stations, enabling them to be controlled remotely, i.e. switched off.
I'm interested to know if this has gone on in other areas, it would have involved temporary power cuts forewarned by circulars from your electricity company.
Personally, i believe that should such a CME occur, the chances of it actually hitting Earth and causing an "armageddon" style wipeout of our society are slim; think about the size of the sun compared to the Earth and how perfectly aligned the two would have to be for the flare to hit us dead-on.
No doubt it would have some effect but i believe that the rest of the solar system is "designed" to draw such energies away from us, in the same way that the larger celestial bodies attract asteroids and comets such as Shoemaker-Levy 9 that impacted Jupiter in 1994.
I also believe that there are certain non-terrestrial entities at work in our solar system whose mission is to protect Earth from events over which we have absolutely no control. (yes, i'm possibly a nutcase too.)
If such an event does happen we will get a good few hours notice, plenty of time to unplug my decks!
of course, some folk aren't particuarly worried about a CME upsetting things too much....
Nevertheless, merely the threat of such an event will go a long way to bringing about a revolution in self-sufficiency and "off-grid" living, helping to reduce our dependency on technology and, specifically, globalised food-production and fossil fuels.
The entire universe is a self-regulating mechanism.