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Solar Storm 'Could Spark Catastrophe'
Ananova ^ | 10-27-2003

Posted on 10/27/2003 2:49:22 PM PST by blam

Solar storm 'could spark catastrophe'

Scientists are warning a "perfect space storm" that occurred 144 years ago could happen again at any time with catastrophic consequences.

Newly uncovered scientific data has shown the true extent of history's most massive electromagnetic storm which blew up on the first two days of September 1859.

Like "the perfect storm" at sea which inspired a blockbuster movie, it was the result of a number of titanic events coming together.

But in this case the centre of the storm was the sun, not the ocean.

A combination of sunspots and solar flares produced an explosive release of magnetically charged gas and particles which sped towards the Earth.

When the storm struck, the effects had a huge impact even on the limited technological landscape of the 19th century.

Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires.

People were amazed as the Northern Lights - caused by charged solar particles bombarding the atmosphere near the northern magnetic pole - illuminated the sky as far south as Rome, Havana and Hawaii.

Dr Bruce Tsurutani, a plasma physicist at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who has investigated the event, said: "What happened in 1859 was a combination of several events that occurred on the sun at the same time.

"If they took place separately they would be somewhat notable events. But together they create the most potent disruption of Earth's ionosphere in recorded history. What they generated was the perfect space storm."

Story filed: 13:51 Sunday 26th October 2003


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catastrophe; electromagnetic; godsgravesglyphs; solar; solarflare; spark; storm
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It's always something.
1 posted on 10/27/2003 2:49:23 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Sounds series.
2 posted on 10/27/2003 2:51:24 PM PST by Arkie2
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To: blam
Women and minorities most affected.

I always wanted to say that!)

3 posted on 10/27/2003 2:54:51 PM PST by Eaker (Amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic.............hmmmmmmmmm ;<)
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To: RightWhale
Angry Sunspots Continue To Rumble
4 posted on 10/27/2003 2:55:08 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
This is hugh!
5 posted on 10/27/2003 2:55:22 PM PST by zlala (My opinion.)
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To: Eaker
You left out the chilruns!
6 posted on 10/27/2003 2:56:23 PM PST by Delbert
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To: Eaker
LOl...always a classic line.
7 posted on 10/27/2003 2:56:27 PM PST by Gringo1 (If god has made your life so great, why are you living in a trailer?)
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To: Delbert
I was typing bewwy-bewwy fast!!!
8 posted on 10/27/2003 2:57:36 PM PST by Eaker (Amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic.............hmmmmmmmmm ;<)
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To: blam
As I recall, pieces of the sun wound up in trees in Indiana.
9 posted on 10/27/2003 2:59:41 PM PST by fat city (Julius Rosenberg's soviet code name was "Liberal")
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To: Eaker
It was a bright and solar stormy day..........
10 posted on 10/27/2003 2:59:46 PM PST by tet68 (multiculturalism is an ideological academic fantasy maintained in obvious bad faith. M. Thompson)
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To: Gringo1
Re: your tag line.

I keep praying that God will go ahead and let the Indians have my IT job so I can move into a trailer.

11 posted on 10/27/2003 2:59:47 PM PST by mommybain (not Walmart greeter material)
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To: mommybain
IT is the technological equivalent of being a relief picher in baseball, it is a notoriously high-risk occupation.


Get into computer controlled medical equipment troubleshooting/repair, you will always have work.

12 posted on 10/27/2003 3:14:43 PM PST by Gringo1 (If god has made your life so great, why are you living in a trailer?)
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To: tet68
Hey Ron popeil here with you sunscreen spf gazzilion pocketsparyer
13 posted on 10/27/2003 3:16:39 PM PST by al baby (Ice cream does not have bones)
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To: Delbert
What about the homeless and transgendered?
14 posted on 10/27/2003 3:18:46 PM PST by hutton
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To: blam
Surely this my fault. Conservative, white, Christan, upper middle class, males who have't reached 50 yet are always to blame. Oh, almost forgot, I'm a gun owner too.

Sorry?
15 posted on 10/27/2003 3:20:11 PM PST by mad puppy
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To: blam
Solar Warming! It's all Solar Warming! Damned imperialist capitalist pigs!

Qwinn
16 posted on 10/27/2003 3:22:09 PM PST by Qwinn
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To: fat city
What's the problem? Just rotate the Sun to point in another direction. Do I have to fix everything?
17 posted on 10/27/2003 3:22:27 PM PST by ZeitgeistSurfer
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To: hutton
Re: What about the homeless and transgendered?

hardest hit, of course.

18 posted on 10/27/2003 3:23:43 PM PST by ChadGore (Kakkate Koi!)
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To: blam
Must be because of global warming that is at fault. And its ALL caused by the "evil" American love affair with the SUVs.
19 posted on 10/27/2003 3:25:24 PM PST by Simmy2.5
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To: blam
You guys are making fun of this story, but we should be concerned. This could be the most devastating thing to happen since the Y2K bug hit.
20 posted on 10/27/2003 3:25:31 PM PST by birdsman (Bill Clinton is still on the loose. Do you know where your daughters are?)
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To: blam
A year's food.

Gravity water purifier.

Generator with year's supply of gasoline.

Lots of gold.

Seeds for planting.

Guns and plenty of ammo.

All you need for Y2K ... er ... the solar perfect storm.
21 posted on 10/27/2003 3:26:48 PM PST by Semi Civil Servant (Taking names and reporting to GWBUSH)
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To: Eaker
Of course, Tom Daschle is deeply saddened.
22 posted on 10/27/2003 3:27:18 PM PST by ConservativeTeen
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To: birdsman
I guess we think alike. :)
23 posted on 10/27/2003 3:28:51 PM PST by Semi Civil Servant (Taking names and reporting to GWBUSH)
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To: blam
That's something that's scarier than most somethings though.

Think about it. In 1859, it shorted telegraph wires and started fires.

What the hell would it do now, when, instead of a few scattered telegraph wires, every home in the country is wired, virtually the entire industrialized world depends on computers and satellites, etc. Kinda scary to think about.

Not that there's anything we can do except wait and see.
24 posted on 10/27/2003 3:30:17 PM PST by CO_dreamer
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To: CO_dreamer
Not that there's anything we can do except wait and see.

finally....a REAL use for that asbestos underwear?

25 posted on 10/27/2003 3:37:05 PM PST by ZinGirl
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To: Poohbah; hchutch; Texas_Dawg; BlueLancer
Obviously, the fault of Straussian, neo-Wilsonian neocons, empire building and requiring the existence of an advanced network of telecommunication facilities. If we all lived simply and used muzzle loaders and horse, this wouldn't be a worry.
26 posted on 10/27/2003 3:41:30 PM PST by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: blam
Look at all the fires it started in So California!

LOL
27 posted on 10/27/2003 3:43:55 PM PST by Syncro
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To: Constitution Day
CGEB will give us an early warning should this occur on the sun...
28 posted on 10/27/2003 3:45:50 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: CO_dreamer
Fry2K?
29 posted on 10/27/2003 3:46:31 PM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firemackbrown.com)
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To: mad puppy
Well, at least you're not Southern. Everyone knows Southern, Christian, conservative, gun owning, meat eating, heterosexual, white men are Satan incarnate.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

Oh yeah...especially those of us who drive big ol' 4x4 trucks!

30 posted on 10/27/2003 3:47:28 PM PST by wku man
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To: Gringo1
notoriously high-rish occupation

I've been at it for close to 20 years and haven't had any real risk until last month. Am I an anomaly?

31 posted on 10/27/2003 3:50:21 PM PST by mommybain (not Walmart greeter material)
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To: blam
Don't worry. The sun will probably not explode. But if it does, no problem.
32 posted on 10/27/2003 3:55:08 PM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: CO_dreamer
Not that there's anything we can do except wait and see

Easy for you to say; me I'm off to buy enough tinfoil to do my roof.

33 posted on 10/27/2003 4:01:52 PM PST by ninonitti
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To: Semi Civil Servant
Don't forget sunblock SPF 14,000,000.
34 posted on 10/27/2003 4:04:27 PM PST by gitmo (Hypocrite: Someone who dare aspire to a higher standard than he is living.)
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To: blam
It's all George Bush's fault, and those mean spirited Republicans.
35 posted on 10/27/2003 4:04:52 PM PST by diamond6 ("Everyone who is for abortion HAS been born." Ronald Reagan)
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To: ConservativeTeen
ROTGL!!!!!
36 posted on 10/27/2003 4:06:31 PM PST by diamond6 ("Everyone who is for abortion HAS been born." Ronald Reagan)
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To: birdsman
LOL!
37 posted on 10/27/2003 4:19:00 PM PST by expatpat
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To: birdsman
"This could be the most devastating thing to happen since the Y2K bug hit."

Hey, now, be fair :) The reason Y2K was no big deal -was- because of all the hysteria about it. The problem got fixed (and all the hiring that was done to get it fixed was actually a big part of the late '90's economic boom).

But as a computer programmer, I can tell you, if the problem had been dismissed, if legions of programmers out there hadn't been hired to do what they did to solve the problem, 1/1/2000 -would- have been very nasty.

Know when the next big computer problem will hit? It's sometime in 2031. The date/time system in the C programming language (which both Unix and Windows are written in) measures time as the number of seconds since some arbitrary date they picked way back (I think since 1950 or something like that). Obviously, the number of seconds since 1950 is one smegging huge number. It runs out/rolls over in 2031. That'll be fun. But this time, I suspect the problem is gonna get ignored - and then we'll see how crazy the Y2K people were ;)

Qwinn
38 posted on 10/27/2003 4:57:30 PM PST by Qwinn
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To: Qwinn
"It runs out/rolls over in 2031"

Ooh, that could be a problem! Normally, one could convert to cash during the problem. But in 2031, will we still have cash or will all purchases be electronic? Maybe I shouldn't worry, I'll probably be senile and have lost all my money by then.

39 posted on 10/27/2003 5:19:56 PM PST by roadcat
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To: Gringo1
Get into computer controlled medical equipment troubleshooting/repair,

I will soon be unemployed. Taking your advice, where do I start?

40 posted on 10/27/2003 5:23:16 PM PST by Hot Tabasco ( 30 years of dealing with stupid people and I still don't have the right to just shoot them...)
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To: blam
Scientists are warning a "perfect space storm" that occurred 144 years ago could happen again at any time

LOL! We got a 50/50 chance of it happening at night. If at night, no problem. If during the day, thats why I've got ray-bans.......

On another thread I read that Poland was sending a space team on an exploratory mission to the sun. When questioned about the chance of burning up they responded that they were going to go at night.......

41 posted on 10/27/2003 5:42:47 PM PST by Hot Tabasco ( 30 years of dealing with stupid people and I still don't have the right to just shoot them...)
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To: blam
Within hours, telegraph wires in both the United States and Europe spontaneously shorted out, causing numerous fires.

Edison lost the battle on DC current, so this is not as likely to happen again. Grounding is something that wasn't used in 1859 either. More chicken little.

42 posted on 10/27/2003 5:54:35 PM PST by SSN558 (Be on the lookout for Black White-Supremacists)
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To: Hot Tabasco
Technical school.
43 posted on 10/27/2003 6:00:02 PM PST by Gringo1 (If god has made your life so great, why are you living in a trailer?)
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To: roadcat; quinn
"It runs out/rolls over in 2031"

Ooh, that could be a problem!

Actually, we have a problem on the Winster's Solstace in 2012. That is when the Aztec calander runs out. According to legend a new Era will begin.

Pack your bags accordingly.

44 posted on 10/27/2003 6:00:09 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Peace through Strength)
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To: mad puppy
You probably drive an SUV, too.

It's YOUR kind that ruined America for all the lil people!

45 posted on 10/27/2003 6:02:11 PM PST by Thumper1960
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To: Gringo1
Technical school.

Could you perhaps elaborate more than just "technical school"?

46 posted on 10/27/2003 6:08:40 PM PST by Hot Tabasco ( 30 years of dealing with stupid people and I still don't have the right to just shoot them...)
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To: Qwinn
Not to worry!

There won't be any Windows/Unix based systems in 2031. The Mayans have informed us that the world's gonna end in 2007 or '08...or something....anyway.

Of course, if my SSI gets screwed up when I hit 70, I'll be sorely PO'd!

47 posted on 10/27/2003 6:09:32 PM PST by Thumper1960
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To: ninonitti
Easy for you to say; me I'm off to buy enough tinfoil to do my roof.

Forget about your roof! Protect your brain!!!

(No one seems to be taking seriously the theoretical danger that alien terrorists will use their advanced technology to modulate sunspot storms to take over control of our minds.)

48 posted on 10/27/2003 6:14:17 PM PST by dpwiener
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: CO_dreamer
Like you, I don't consider this a joke, either. We have experienced strong storms (though not as bad as the 1859 storm) that disrupted power grids. There would be communication blackouts. Areas closer to the poles would be affected the most. It sure would fry some satellites. Probably the worst solar storm in our lifetime happened in 1989. People could see the Northern Lights as far south as Florida. There were communication blackouts and I think there were some power outages in Canada.
50 posted on 10/27/2003 6:31:54 PM PST by Wilhelm Tell (Lurking since 1997!)
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