Thursday, June 23, 2011

Huge Solar Flares Could Spell Catastrophe for Earth

Jun. 23 2011 - By TOM BARLOW - Power lines and transformers fry across the nation. Communication satellites are knocked out, the GPS network no longer works, and even the space station is sucked into Earth’s gravity well. Americans are forced to go months without power, without water systems, without television or cell phones or other forms of communication. Sound like a disaster? You bet, but the culprit isn’t terrorists or hurricanes or a meteorite; it’s our old friend, the sun. Scientists are gathered this week to discuss a relatively under appreciated threat to our well-being, the impact a huge solar flare (also known as a solar mass ejection (SME) or solar electromagnetic pulse (EMP)) directed at Earth could wreak upon our modern technology.


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