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(LA Times)   A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth. On the good side, you are probably going to die. On the other side, you probably will wish you did. It's not time to panic yet, but you should be ready to   (latimes.com) divider line 76
    More: Scary, charged particles, Earth, space weathers, Geomagnetic Storm, ionosphere, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, solar flares, streams  
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13294 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 May 2012 at 3:49 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-06 12:07:10 PM  
The worse thing is that long power lines can have induced currents from solar storms hitting the earth, and the extra current will blow out transformers, potentially plunging the US into darkness. Of course, Europe is somewhat better protected since their power lines aren't as long (and thus, the induced currents wouldn't be as powerful).
 
2012-05-06 12:19:40 PM  
A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth. On the good side, you are probably not going to die. On the other side, you probably will wish you did. It's not time to panic yet, but you should be ready to

One word changes the whole thing.
 
2012-05-06 12:20:57 PM  
I have SPF 30. I'm fine.
 
2012-05-06 12:21:56 PM  
Finally the NIMBYs are gonna find out why power companies wanted to build more and better transmission capacity.

RexTalionis: The worse thing is that long power lines can have induced currents from solar storms hitting the earth, and the extra current will blow out transformers, potentially plunging the US into darkness. Of course, Europe is somewhat better protected since their power lines aren't as long (and thus, the induced currents wouldn't be as powerful).


An added problem is that running the lines at capacity makes them even more vulnerable to overloading as there is no margin for a surge and you have even less time for switching equipment to react to an overload. Having a crapload of extra capacity makes routing power around so much easier.
 
2012-05-06 12:24:03 PM  

EvilEgg: A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth. On the good side, you are probably not going to die. On the other side, you probably will wish you did. It's not time to panic yet, but you should be ready to

One word changes the whole thing.


nah, submitter was right. this place is farking boring. needs more bouncy castles.
 
2012-05-06 12:39:54 PM  
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
2012-05-06 12:43:28 PM  
Yeah, I'ma callin bullshiat on the scary part. This solar event will be about as impactful as Y2K
 
2012-05-06 12:44:09 PM  
And this is different than the previous 5,000 times we've been warned about in the past few years in what way, subby?
 
2012-05-06 12:44:20 PM  
FTA:

"But that's a pretty small-beer thing."

Typo, colloquialism, or hip new phrase?
 
2012-05-06 12:46:28 PM  
But will Dr. Hapgood be able to tell us who is sane and who is a "cookie"?
 
2012-05-06 12:52:22 PM  
OMG... A GIANT BUG ZAPPER IS COMING RIGHT AT US!

/Quick! Hide behind the Moon
 
2012-05-06 12:52:48 PM  
Oh man. I would LOVE to see my SO try to survive one day without the interwebs.
 
2012-05-06 02:02:55 PM  
COULD != IS
 
2012-05-06 02:56:23 PM  
Well, at least this article doesn't make the claim that rebar used in buildings will get a charge from a solar storm and burn the whole building down.
 
2012-05-06 03:33:31 PM  
largest solar radiation storm since 2005

We all remember the 2005 solar storm vividly. That's the one that nearly destroyed everything, and this one is almost as big as that!
 
2012-05-06 03:51:29 PM  
The sun is about to bukkake all over Earth? Earth sounds like a whore.
 
2012-05-06 03:51:35 PM  
www.gearfuse.com
 
2012-05-06 04:05:03 PM  
i'm ready
 
2012-05-06 04:08:59 PM  
It should be noted that despite the misleading headline and first paragraph of the article and the chicken little Fark headline, there isn't actually any CME's heading towards the Earth at this point in time, not even a minor one.
 
2012-05-06 04:10:07 PM  
I heard about this on History Channel. Doomsday Peppers Crabbing From Tow Trucks did a fascinating piece on it.
 
2012-05-06 04:16:01 PM  

dennysgod: It should be noted that despite the misleading headline and first paragraph of the article and the chicken little Fark headline, there isn't actually any CME's heading towards the Earth at this point in time, not even a minor one.


Got dangit! You ruin all the fun good! What good is it when apocalypse?! Friday? Pfft!
 
2012-05-06 04:17:49 PM  

RexTalionis: The worse thing is that long power lines can have induced currents from solar storms hitting the earth, and the extra current will blow out transformers, potentially plunging the US into darkness. Of course, Europe is somewhat better protected since their power lines aren't as long (and thus, the induced currents wouldn't be as powerful).


Are you aware that the large transformers (generating transformers), that sit between generating stations and the high voltage long distance distribution lines, take months to build? That the capacity to build new ones no longer exists in America? That it would take about ten years to replace them all?

Being without electricity for a week sucks for a small town; a nation (or multiple nations) being without electricity for years is a horrible disaster.

Nice article about the UK's power system
 
2012-05-06 04:19:44 PM  
farm3.static.flickr.com

RIP
World
 
2012-05-06 04:20:22 PM  
time to go back to DC transmission, fark Tesla, praise Edison
 
2012-05-06 04:23:36 PM  
"On the good side, you are probably going to die. On the other side, you probably will wish you did."

The good side is dying?
 
2012-05-06 04:23:43 PM  

EvilEgg: A stream of highly charged particles from the sun is headed straight toward Earth. On the good side, you are probably not going to die. On the other side, you probably will wish you did. It's not time to panic yet, but you should be ready to

One word changes the whole thing.


It's going to make me immortal? Farkin' A!
 
2012-05-06 04:26:15 PM  
static.flickr.com
 
2012-05-06 04:28:30 PM  

INeedAName:

Got dangit! You ruin all the fun good! What good is it when apocalypse?! Friday? Pfft!


This is fascinating.
I seem to have suddenly lost the ability to read.
 
2012-05-06 04:33:21 PM  

rudemix: I heard about this on History Channel. Doomsday Peppers Crabbing From Tow Trucks did a fascinating piece on it.


I was surprised to see such a high percentage of the preppers on those shows worried about solar storms and the ensuing death of all things electronic. Apparently it isn't completely crazy. these was a monster storm in 1859 - if that happened now we would be pretty farked up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859
 
2012-05-06 04:34:24 PM  

FloydA: INeedAName:

Got dangit! You ruin all the fun good! What good is it when apocalypse?! Friday? Pfft!

This is fascinating.
I seem to have suddenly lost the ability to read.


I am truley sorry for your lots.
 
2012-05-06 04:43:42 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2012-05-06 04:45:09 PM  
As someone in Quebec, mentionned 3-4 times in the article, i dno't remember the 1989 blackout, but i do know that the networks have been solidified since.
And we didn,t get hit be the northeast blackout of '03.

I'm not scared, but i'm close enough to the border and the Maine woods to worry about hungry Americans.
 
2012-05-06 04:52:13 PM  
I'm still waiting for an answer to the 1989 question at the bottom of the article. When is he going to answer it?

/I'm on the edge of my seat here
 
2012-05-06 04:53:32 PM  
The "ALSO" column to the left of this article quickly convinced me to not read this article.
 
2012-05-06 04:53:45 PM  

Trolljegeren: RexTalionis: The worse thing is that long power lines can have induced currents from solar storms hitting the earth, and the extra current will blow out transformers, potentially plunging the US into darkness. Of course, Europe is somewhat better protected since their power lines aren't as long (and thus, the induced currents wouldn't be as powerful).

Are you aware that the large transformers (generating transformers), that sit between generating stations and the high voltage long distance distribution lines, take months to build? That the capacity to build new ones no longer exists in America? That it would take about ten years to replace them all?

Being without electricity for a week sucks for a small town; a nation (or multiple nations) being without electricity for years is a horrible disaster.

Nice article about the UK's power system


I have a feeling it there was a 10 year backlog for them that production would increase significantly.

You take the old transformers, extract the copper, ditch the PCBs, rewind them, and put them back in service. You can use the same cases and mounts, they just have to be rewound.

It would suck, but it wouldn't take 10 years.
 
2012-05-06 04:56:53 PM  
So what would happen if there were two streams of highly charged particles heading towards the earth at the same time and the streams crossed?
 
2012-05-06 04:57:41 PM  
Can't wait for E openings on 2 meters this summer!
 
2012-05-06 04:59:37 PM  
Can I have your stuff?
 
2012-05-06 05:01:32 PM  

Mokmo: I'm not scared, but i'm close enough to the border and the Maine woods to worry about hungry Americans.


There's some saying in the survivalist community about not being anywhere a starving person can walk to in however many days. All modern cars would be bricked if such a thing happened, so you wouldn't really have to worry about anyone driving.

/Cities would be absolute pandemonium if/when something like this happens.
 
2012-05-06 05:24:41 PM  
Charged particles stream toward the Earth every day.
 
2012-05-06 05:30:29 PM  
FTFA: "... came up with a value of a 12% chance of it happening in the next 10 years. That's quite a high risk." So an 88% chance of it NOT happening is what? A really really high possibility?
 
2012-05-06 05:33:18 PM  

Johnsnownw: I'm still waiting for an answer to the 1989 question at the bottom of the article. When is he going to answer it?

/I'm on the edge of my seat here


Hint: click "next" for page 2.

/or "single page"
 
2012-05-06 05:34:50 PM  
"...and it could happen soon..."

or not

As soon as I see a sciencey article use the words "would," "could," "might" or "may," my bullshiat detector makes me go watch more cartoons.

For science.
 
2012-05-06 05:35:24 PM  
ll-media.andersoncooper.com
ts3.mm.bing.net
 
2012-05-06 05:43:49 PM  
www.wired.com
 
2012-05-06 05:52:20 PM  

maxwellton: FTFA: "... came up with a value of a 12% chance of it happening in the next 10 years. That's quite a high risk." So an 88% chance of it NOT happening is what? A really really high possibility?


I don't think anyone can really claim to accurately put that sort of thing into a percentage.

/Probably better understood as "an 88% chance to not spook the herd".
 
2012-05-06 05:54:48 PM  
what I realy dislike about these articles is how they seem to completely miss how likely a massive coronal mass ejection has of actually HITTING the earth.

The sun has a massive surface area and the earth is a really tiny target, really far away. the odds of one actually hitting the earth are really small. I just really hate the "OMG we're going to die" mentality.
 
2012-05-06 06:22:20 PM  

Elephantman:


No... the people on that show are still idiots.
 
2012-05-06 06:27:04 PM  
Oh, no! The power is out for 4 days! I wish I were dead!
 
2012-05-06 06:29:50 PM  
What relation is Mike Hapgood to Charles Hapgood, again?
 
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