Well, many of you have most likely heard a lot of talk about doomsday, end of the world babble, Mayan Prophesies, Dec. 21, 2012 chatter, and a lot of other verbiage concerning global disasters, mega earthquakes, storms, solar flares, a polar shift, and the works.
Now, before we get too excited, one must realize that the weather is about as unpredictable as a woman (Ha-ha! Just kidding…). No matter what year it is, natural disaster can strike and cataclysmic events can occur. This “end of the world 2012” talk has sort of got hyped up by the media and uneducated drama queens, for example. On this post, I’m not getting into any of that other stuff, as this particular blog entry is intended to be a quick video post via NASA, about solar storms and flares.
Now, you may ask: Should I be worried about major solar flares and/or storms from the sun during the next several months? Well, I would say that it isn’t a bad idea to be prepared for an electrical blackout, if the worst case scenario takes place. You know, like stock up on canned goods, ammunition for your guns, alcohol, etc. Most likely, since we have the technology to detect the flares and solar storms while knowing when they are coming to Earth a couple days before impact, we will have a better chance for taking preventative measures that may help protect our power grids, etc.
But, in fact, scientists are warning that when they hit, if large enough, they could potentially knock out power grids, GPS satellites, airline communications and incite nuclear meltdowns. The solar flare cycle occurs about every 11 years and is expected to reach its peak of activity (on this current cycle) around June 2013 or thereabouts. The cycle starts with the flares slowly calming down, becoming relatively dormant, then picking back up until it peaks near the end of its 11 year cycle. This has been going on, as long as we can tell, for a very, very long time.
Here’s an example of the effect they can have: In 1989, a solar flare damaged a power grid in Quebec, Canada, cutting power for hours to millions of people. But, it could have been worse…
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft captured this image of a solar flare as it erupted from the sun early on Tuesday, October 28, 2003. This was the most powerful flare measured with modern methods. Credit: NASA/SOHO:
Okay, well, NASA says that “killer solar flares are a physical impossibility,” but they can obviously cause major problems if they are big enough in today’s world. I’m sure we have had some really big ones down through the history of mankind, but there wouldn’t have been much of an effect then, since we didn’t have all that technical stuff, electrical devices, communication systems, and so on, back then. One good thing, when it comes to solar storms, is that we have a fairly thick atmosphere that protects us from outside radiation.
Anyway, instead of reading about what I may have to say about this tempestuous/stormy subject, check out the video from NASA, below:
—End of Post “Solar Storms & Flares – NASA Video”
Related External Links: “Solar Flares threaten to disrupt devices…” [link is no longer active] and “NASA – 2012: Killer Solar Flares Are a Physical Impossibility”
Semi-related Blog Link: “The Mystery of Fire – who in the hell discovered it?“