There are reports of a geomagnetic storm sparked by a huge solar flare that swept over the Earth in 1859. Telegraph wires shorted out and set houses on fire. A brilliant aurora was seen in Hawaii—so bright that “people could read newspapers by [its] red and green glow.” Scientists predict that in May 2013, the sun’s solar cycle will peak at about the same level as in 1859. (This content courtesy a post on Gawker.com)
High-tech systems are critical for life as we know it today. Everything that we depend on and take for granted – air travel, GPS navigation, banking services (even a credit card transaction uses a satellite) and emergency radio communications – can all be knocked out by intense solar activity.
To get an idea of scale, a massive solar storm could result in 20 times more damage than the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina which hit south-eastern US in August 2005. The storm killed 1,800 people and caused damages worth $81 billion.
Some good news is that some of the damage and destruction can be avoided with warning of an impending solar storm. There is technology to put satellites in ‘safe mode’ and disconnect transformers to protect them from destructive electrical surges.
The task of accurately forecasting a solar storm lies with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US. “Space weather forecasting is still in its infancy, but we’re making rapid progress,” said Thomas Bogdan, director of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado.
full article posted at yahoo news - http://in.yfittopostblog.com/2010....in-2013