Skip to comments.Sun's Plasma Balls Could Wipe Out Human Civilization....
Posted on 10/14/2009 8:32:04 PM PDT by TaraP
Natural fluctuations in the sun's atmosphere could cause it to fire a giant plasma ball at Earth, shutting down the planet's electric grids and leading to widespread social collapse, according to a report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).
Funded by NASA, the report draws attention to naturally occurring events known as coronal mass ejections (CME), in which a ball of plasma -- the charged, high-energy particles that comprise stars -- is fired from the sun. If such a ball strikes the Earth, it could produce rapid changes in the planet's magnetic field, leading to a surge of direct current in the long-range power lines that carry electricity through modern power grids.
Modern power grids are designed to carry electricity at extremely high voltage, making them especially susceptible to this kind of magnetic disruption. What they are not designed to do, however, is carry direct current. Transformers are particularly vulnerable, and sudden influx of direct current could cause the wiring inside the devices to melt. The NAS report estimates that within 90 seconds of a plasma ball hitting the Earth's magnetic field, power would be knocked out to 130 million people in the United States alone. The same effect is likely throughout the world.
A really large storm could be a planetary disaster," said power industry analyst John Kappenman.
In the First World, where everything from transportation to food and water distribution depends on electricity, this could create a humanitarian catastrophe.
"It's just the opposite of how we usually think of natural disasters," Kappenman said. "Usually the less developed regions of the world are most vulnerable, not the highly sophisticated technological regions."
According to the report, potable water would be one of the first losses in the event of such a disaster. Because water pumping relies on electricity, people would have access to tap water only for about half a day, until the amount already in the system ran out. High-rises, which rely on water being pumped to upper floors, would lose water immediately.
All electric-powered transport would stop at once, and automobiles could only run until they ran out of gas, since the pumps at gas stations also rely on electricity. This would quickly cause the shelves at stores to run bare, since the modern "just-in-time" delivery method relies on restocking shelves as they run out, with minimal storage inside shops themselves.
Backup generators at places like hospitals could only run until they ran out of fuel. According to the report, this translates into 72 hours of minimal care for only the most vulnerable patients. The absence of refrigeration would cause food and many prescription drugs to quickly spoil.
The NAS report notes that a technological meltdown on this scale might be impossible to undo. Pumping natural gas or oil requires electricity, and modern transport networks are required to keep coal plants supplied. Nuclear power plants automatically shut down if the power grid fails, and cannot be turned back on until the grid is back to normal. Very few spare transformers exist, meaning that new ones would need to be manufactured to replace most of the burned-out ones. Again, the lack of industrial infrastructure would make this a major challenge.
"We're moving closer and closer to the edge of a possible disaster," said Daniel Baker, chair of the committee that produced the report.
Although the scenario may sound fantastic and unlikely, scientists warn that there have been precedents. In 1859, a CME known as the Carrington event produced auroras as far south as the equator and caused severe disruptions to the world's telegraph systems. In 1989, a direct current overload in the power grid cut off electricity to 6 million people in Quebec province, Canada. And in 2006, a fluctuation in a small part of Germany's power grid caused a cascading power failure through the wider European grid.
Who’s giving a cr*p about the “Mayan calendar.” To me that’s sorcery. Pay attention to the real time details of the devil and he will mess with your mind. God is more powerful but your focus has to be towards God (such as through the bible) for God to be ruling your mind. God if neglected is not going to stuff himself down your throat.
“Wif all dis shakin and quakin goin on up dair, I’m frankly worried about the flag our Asternauts planted on the sun back in the 60’s. Do you think them plasmer balls woulda knocked it over?”
Sheila Jackson Lee
I like cheese.
About 7 minutes.
What, giant Matzoh Balls coming from space?
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Sun's Plasma Balls Could Wipe Out Human Civilization....
It falls in the category of:
Asteroids / killer comets
Giant Tsunamis / global warming
California sliding off into the ocean
Pandemic flu / killer virus
Gamma ray bursts
Invasion by aliens
Sudden Ice age
Look, there are always things that can might could possibly some time in the future, destroy civilization. The best that you can do for you and your family is to 1) have a reasonably secure location, 2) be able to defend that location, 3) be able to sustain yourself and your family for any non-life threatening injuries, 4) be prepared for water shortages via filtration / storage, 5) be prepared for food shortages, and 6) be prepared to “bug out” to an alternate location.
This is standard urban / modern survival. I’ve been prepared for a number of years now and continue to improve my situation.
If the transformers are the points of failure, it would seem that some engineering would be in order, so as to tolerate events like this by cutting out until the electromagnetic environment becomes safe again. At least the flares are not threatening to do what a man made EMP would.
This thread should be labeled "NASA budget season alert."
Every political empire exaggerates their own importance when trolling for money, but NASA consistently takes it to wonderful comical lengths. Space is cool and beautiful, but unfortunately for NASA, things just orbit around each other without much human intervention required, as they have done for ages.
So recognizing they have their work cut out for them, NASA budget season has gradually become worthy of Hollywood special effects. One year, we need a network of space based defenses to annihilate asteroids coming to earth, next year global warming will pounce if we don't launch climate studying satellites, and now we learn that the sun will shoot plasma balls at us if we don't spend enough money to protect ourselves.
IIRC that’s less than the amount of time it would take light to traverse from the sun to the earth. Such a blast would be stupendous, but it canna change the laws of physics!
I wish a couple Republicans had some plasma balls.
You know folks, this is just a blatant attempt to mess with the mentally feeble. What’s going on here? I swear it looks like an attempt to scare people into some kind of reaction.
I should have said 8 minutes...But it would depend on where out tiny planet was located at the time.
Who’s the culprit and why?
I believe the gov't does have...in case of an electro magnetic attack -
But we folk should have at least rudimentary supplies at home.
I grew up on a farm in the north woods where people lived without power.'
WE heated with wood, hot water in the tank on the side of the stove, water pump on the sink, kerosene lamps at night.
A year's supply of food on hand - in the gardens, cold cellars, canning jars - meat in the woods and the barn; milk and butter from the cows; chicken and eggs in the coop; fish in waters.
It was a great life.
FAst forward a few decades and different place.
During the '100 year Ice Storm' of 1998, I was without electricity for 19 days. Most people had to go to motels or other shelters. I was able to stay home as I have a wood stove and lamps, providing heat, a way to cook and heat water, and I have my kerosene lamps.
The worst part was having to haul water from the fire station...I longed for the old farm and the water pump.
I could go back to those days in a heartbeat - except I'd want my tub and hot water spigot - and my 'puter. Don't need a TV - hardly ever watch it now.
But people are way too complacent - 'it'll never happen to me' attitude is going to catch a lot people with their pants down one day.
Holy relativistic velocities, Batman!
I’d quibble that it was more like 1/3 the speed of light, because it took 8 minutes to be seen as happening on the sun’s surface, then another 15 minutes to get here. So after that first 8 minutes it was about a third of the way here.
And why is Cage always so *creepy*?
My thought is that on the face of it, this hasn’t happened before. Why would someone just throw this out there? It’s just one more thing for brittle people to obsess over.
Over the last few years, I have noticed a number of articles heralding what could possibly happen, even if the chances of it happening were almost infinitesimal.
Some of the programming on the cable channels fits this description well. One of my favorites is the new fascination with December 21st, 2012.
Why do they play this stuff up.
I know this doesn’t answer your question. It’s just what occurs to me. I think it’s a valid observation.
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