The Next Big Geomagnetic Storm Poses An Astronomical Risk To Modern Man

by | Sep 21, 2018 | Headline News | 28 comments

This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

Scientists are concerned about the next significant “space weather” event, which begins at the sun in the center of the solar system. Severe space weather occurs less frequently than traditional weather on Earth but can be more destructive in nature.

The sun is now headed towards a solar minimum, forecasted to arrive in 2019 as the Sun changes over from Solar Cycle 24 to Solar Cycle 25. The Sun goes through 11-year cycles, during which solar activity increases and decreases.

Tracking sunspot activity dates back to the start of the first solar cycle in 1755. Today, simple sketching and counting of sunspot numbers have given way to land-based and space-based technologies that continuously monitor the Sun.

Scientists have discovered that intense activity such as sunspots and solar flares generally subside during a solar minimum. Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said during a solar minimum, that does not mean the sun becomes dull.

He said solar activity simply changes.

For instance, Pesnell warned, “during a solar minimum, we can see the development of long-lived coronal holes.”

Coronal holes are large regions in the sun’s atmosphere where the sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows streams of solar particles known as coronal mass ejection (CME) to escape the sun as fast solar wind.

If the coronal hole is Earth-facing, then electrically charged particles from the Sun slam into Earth’s magnetic field and cause intense electromagnetic storms around the planet. The impact of these particles on the electronic infrastructure underlying modern industrial civilization can be devastating, said the Financial Times.

CMEs disrupt GPS, satellites, and astronauts currently in space. Even airline crew and passengers get a markedly higher dose of radiation during solar storms, especially during polar-crossing, trans-oceanic flights.

And a repeat of the most significant solar storm on record, the 1859 Carrington Super-flare, would cost trillions of dollars in damage as power grids, communication networks, and electronic equipment worldwide would be knocked out.

Some scientists believe that Earth is due for a severe space weather event that could send civilization temporarily into reverse.

Another incident occurred in 1989, when an Earth-facing CME rocked the planet, producing a surge in voltage that caused Hydro-Québec power grid in Canada to collapse, leaving millions of people without electricity.

“During a big geomagnetic storm in 2003, a Japanese scientific satellite was lost and 10 percent of the world’s satellite fleet suffered malfunctions,” said Professor Richard Horne of the British Antarctic Survey.

“Today we have around 1,500 satellites in orbit, with thousands more due to be launched in the next few years,” Prof Horne adds. “People are trying to use more commercial off-the-shelf components, rather than components made to operate in space, and many systems have not been tested in a major storm, so there is a lot of uncertainty about what might happen.”

A recent space weather event in late April 2017, allegedly knocked out power grids across the entire country in one simultaneous fashion. San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles were the three main areas affected. Each region experienced challenges or shutdowns in basic infrastructure such as communication networks and mass transportation.

An unfortunate coincidence of adverse space and Earth weather came in September 2017, when space storms disrupted shortwave radios for hours — preventing emergency response to hurricanes tearing apart the Caribbean.

“The Sun’s been very quiet for the last 10 years. It reminds people not to be complacent,” said Mike Hapgood, head of space weather at the UK Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Scientists tell the Financial Times that satellites can monitor potentially troublesome activity on the sun days ahead of a possible eruption, forecasting the path and effects of an actual CME, well, that is very difficult. If the CME is Earth-facing it takes about 24-hours to arrive, so when the next big solar flare comes racing towards Earth, government officials do not have enough time to prepare the nation or even the world for impact — it would be devastating.

According to Prof Horne, the most notable satellite for short-term space weather forecasting today is the US Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, launched into low-Earth Orbit (LEO) in 2015. From this tactical position about 1m miles from Earth, DSCOVR provides an early warning of about one hour before impact.

In late 2016, the Obama administration quietly passed an executive order titled “Coordinating Efforts to Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events,” which prepares the fragile nation for economic collapse from a space weather event. The mainstream media, for a good reason, were not allowed to cover the passage of this executive order because it would cause too much panic among the American people. When the next significant solar event strikes, most will not be prepared — not even government.

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    28 Comments

    1. Vet1

      Maryland 2 officers shot serving warrant at wrong address…

      • Anonymous

        I understand the suspect is in custody, he apparently surrendered to police.

        Right off hand, I think his future is going to be rather difficult, for a while.

      • Anon

        Was that because of a solar storm?
        Actually, “could” does not mean it will pose a massive threat.

      • Infidel

        Did they learn their lesson?

    2. VET 2

      OOOPS!

    3. aljamo

      An hours notice huh, that’s enough to get your final affairs in order, smoke a joint and prepare for the big show stopper.

    4. Stuart

      An “Astronomical” threat eh? Well no sh*t Sherlock.

      It sure ain’t an Oceanographical.
      Or a Geological threat.
      Or a Gastronomical threat.
      Perhaps a Taxonomical threat.
      Maybe a Biological threat.
      Or even a Zoological threat.

      /sarc/

    5. rellik

      “If the CME is Earth-facing it takes about 24-hours to arrive, so when the next big solar flare comes racing towards Earth, government officials do not have enough time to prepare the nation or even the world for impact — it would be devastating.”

      What a joke. What is the government going to do?
      We normally have one of these CME events every three or 5 days during a solar minimum. That is why we have “northern and southern lights.
      A really big one would be like an weak EMP. Power stations my go off line temporarily. Satellites my have a temporary interruption of service. My satellites go off line if it rains too much( my television and internet are satellite direct) and that happens more often than a CME event. I survive.
      Make sure you have surge suppressors on all your “smart” appliances and you will be just fine.

    6. Archivist

      If we could actually get that 24-hour notice, we could unplug everything from the grid and wrap up critical electronics.

      The electric, cable, and phone companies could all shut down until the CME passed, thus saving billions.

      But will they do that? Will they even give us that notice?

      • Maranatha

        Well Trump might calmly suggest that folks do a you describe based upon the intensity. We know from atomic testing what EMP does on devices. We also know that there are multiple weapon systems that use EMP to knock out electronics. I could post some articles or videos about that.

        Here is the “CHAMP” system.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0aY5msm2PI

        Some of the comments are very underplaying a genuine phenomena that without warning would return us to a technological level of about the 1860’s.

        Others would probably NOT warn the public. We know that EMP has affected systems in the past, so dismissing it is absurd. There can be a credible treat IF we are facing a flare of a given magnitude like an X class but almost certainly not if it’s a M class.

      • AussieTornado

        Doesn’t really work like that. You would also need to remove capacitors & batteries, as well as earth the device out.

    7. B from CA

      I’m a solar physicist and I say: she told me she was 18.

      _

      • Rick Werner

        Lol!!

    8. kay123

      They had me until they mentioned Obumhole
      then it gets sickly suspicious. He relished the
      thought of tormenting the general public.

      He exists for one thing…. to retaliate against white
      people. The only thing he would keep a secret about
      would be something underhanded toward conservatives.

      Solar flares have been around for eons of years. I have
      enought to worry about already ….. not worrying about something
      I can do absolutely nothing about.

      It does explain why I have such terrible radio signals……or it that
      Obumhole having his minions zap Talk radio like Rush Limbaugh?

      • Tom

        You can do something about it — have a well-grounded metal container large enough for your most important electronic devices. This shields them from the solar flare or EMP burst by grounding out the effect. Don’t forget that things like red dot sights and night vision devices are electronic, too, and must go in the metal container for the duration of the event, another reason to have BUIS on your weapon.

    9. Anonymous

      THANK THE LORD!! No horrible, scary news! (whew!)

    10. Maranatha

      Sol, our sun, is not really a large star at all, but it is 109 times bigger than us. In terms of volume though, you could put 1.3 million Earth inside the sun. It’s rotating and we are rotating, and it’s moving in the galaxy and we are moving in an elipse around it as well. If you are great at spatial relationships, we were doing a cosmic dance with it, but it would look like a corkscrew as it moves through the galaxy.

      Now imagine you have a flashlight except it’s shining in all directions. And every once in awhile, the voltage changes and the amount of light varies with a little burst. Meanwhile your buddy has a teeny tiny mirror that is 109 times smaller than your flashlight. What is the chance that when the burst goes off from your flashlight and what is the chance that the reflection of the burst will be facing your buddy’s mirror?

      Pretty dang small. He may be in darkness. He’s rotating in circle like a top and he’s also moving around in an eliptical orbit. And you are rotating and moving through the galaxy.

      But since the Earth is so small and since the sun is so large, if we are facing as we almost were with the X28 flare, then our electronics are TOAST. Components would fail and likely would take longer to troubleshoot versus just replace them. Everybody wanting replacements for all electronics is not a good situation, right? Those massive transformers would blow as we sure can’t unwire every freaking transformer in America. And the old data stated that there was a waiting list of 1.5-2 years for them on average.

      This is why the utilities have toolrooms with inventory or else things would just shut down “waiting on parts”.

    11. kay123

      Maranathon?
      What is your speciality?
      If you know all of this stuff off the top
      of your head……I’m impressed.
      But, if you are cutting and pasting…. not
      so much. 🤭🙄

    12. Hank

      This is the goal an outer space EMP using a nuke. They will be blame it on the sun. Then assume 95% global depopulation in a year. Then restart civilization after they leave their bunkers.

    13. Yohan Smythe

      And in 1 – 2 years 90% of the population would be dead.

      I think 10 years is a better estimate. Think about it. FIRST you have to rebuild the machines that make the transformers.

      • Tom

        Actually, FIRST you have to survive every nuclear power plant melting down within a month because every Diesel engine control module is fried, and the tank trucks can’t deliver fuel to the back-up cooling generators. Oh, well.

        • Kevin2

          Many (should be all) have steam turbines driving the cooling pumps. As the heat decays the turbines do put out less power. The turbines are a multiplier so as the throttle enthalpy decays less water (sum of PSI & volume) is pumped but less is needed. They therefore put out sufficient water for cooling.

    14. Yohan Smythe

      To expound on that… the really BIG ones are only made in China. So you are counting on them to rebuild the machines that make the transformers. I hear that it takes 2 years to make 1 transformer.

      At the same time someone has to be working on repairing a ship to transport it to another country. Or by sailboat? A crane to load it and unload it. And a truck to move it to needed location.

      Now. Don’t forget, you are starting this whole process without electricity!!!!!!!!!

    15. Maranatha

      It’s plausible that a solar flare will ultimately cause some nation or nations to suffer and lose their electronics and then face trying to cope with nineteenth century technology. But it’s far more likely that some upset nation will stupidly use an EMP weapon. It is very likely some passionate terrorist will use a dirty bomb or an EMP weapon against the USA. Because we are the ones they fear, not the EU, and they are NOT stupid and won’t attack Russia or China because they would show no mercy.

    16. Anonymous

      Sending “civilization into permanent reverse” would be the solution to “modern man”. Becoming individually independent of that “civilization” by receiving the sufficiency of God’s Creation that He provides us individually for our well-being is the key.

    17. Kevin2

      Steam heads (stationary engineers) with old school experience using pneumatic controls (if at all) and light off by torch, may be in high demand. Think of the Steve McQueen movie “Sand Pebbles”, “Live stm strong” , “dead stm”(water). I’de love a crack at that old time engine room (of course under better circumstances).

      • Maranatha

        Old temperature controllers (like the Taylors) used a 3-15 psi pressure controller for steam valves. They had some old school bimetalic temperature devices in some transducers in industrial operations.

        ItoP cotrollers were transducers that converted 4-20 milliamps to 3-15 psi for a variety of flow control largely using air to open or air to close situations.

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