Carrington Effect

So when I’m not fiddling with a pen (one can’t fiddle with a pen? Amazing!), I am a part-time full-time weather geek. If I were in the heart of Kansas or Oklahoma or thereabouts, I’d probably be storm-chasing. My little heart was fluttering when the second day of beach vacation was supposed to usher in a tropical storm, which I’d never been at the beach to see (and still didn’t see). So needless to say, I zealously follow the Capital Weather Gang‘s blog because they get things right more often than not and explain why they didn’t when that occurs, seldom though it is.

Besides earth weather, they also talk about space weather and today’s blog is very interesting because it discusses the current trend of waning activity on the sun. If you share my space weather geekdom, the post is here.

So, what does this have to do with deprive? In 1859 there was something called the “Carrington Effect” (named after the British astronomer, Richard Carrington, who viewed the solar flare) and it created a huge geomagnetic disturbance. If that storm happened today, it would disrupt electricity for possibly weeks. Ah, we complain when we don’t have electricity and all of its related goodies for a couple of days. Could you imagine being without it for weeks? Would you feel deprived?

For further reading on the Carrington Effect:

  1. What If the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?” National Geographic.

  2. A Perfect Solar Superstorm: The 1859 Carrington EventThe History Channel.

  3. A Super Solar FlareNASA Science News.

end 6/17/2016

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