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(Irish Independent)   Apparently in 2012, a giant "coronal mass ejection" from the sun that probably would have caused about $2.6 TRILLLION in damages to earth's power and communications grid had it hit, missed our planet by THAT MUCH   (independent.ie) divider line 71
    More: Scary, ejections, Earth, electrical grid, mass ejections, planets, Nature Communications, gas giants, Geomagnetic Storm  
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2821 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Mar 2014 at 12:43 PM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-20 11:13:06 AM
That's OK, because the 6 meter aurora propagation would have been *GLORIOUS*.
 
2014-03-20 11:17:12 AM
Thanks Obama!
 
2014-03-20 12:13:14 PM
img.fark.net
 
2014-03-20 12:46:03 PM
Oh so close, but the Sun will leave with some lovely prizes and all contestants will receive the home version of our game.
 
2014-03-20 12:49:43 PM
That's a relief. Knowing was scary enough.
 
2014-03-20 12:52:57 PM
I was under the impression that a mass ejection was the profitable part.
 
2014-03-20 12:55:14 PM
Your welcome.  My personality kept that away.  Now fark off
 
2014-03-20 01:02:03 PM
soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?
 
2014-03-20 01:03:38 PM
Check out the  Carrington Event. Lets take a guess what happens to all them un-shielded computers that run most everything these days like food distribution, banks etc.
 
2014-03-20 01:06:25 PM
There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!
 
2014-03-20 01:09:34 PM
Hey pete
 
2014-03-20 01:13:10 PM

Magorn: soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?


Asteroids we can do something about.  Or tech is actually good enough for that.  (IFF we have enough warning)
 
2014-03-20 01:15:01 PM

Magorn: soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?


Keep a spare unconnected to anything.   Then simply swap out the fried electronics that were connected to miles and miles of wire without so much as a surge protector.

The only thing I'd actually be worried about is the power distribution system.  Most communications across any distance these days are carried by fiber optics, so that's not a real concern.
 
2014-03-20 01:20:40 PM
i1207.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-20 01:25:59 PM

dittybopper: Magorn: soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?

Keep a spare unconnected to anything.   Then simply swap out the fried electronics that were connected to miles and miles of wire without so much as a surge protector.

The only thing I'd actually be worried about is the power distribution system.  Most communications across any distance these days are carried by fiber optics, so that's not a real concern.


Not so simple.

You'd need any electronics you hoped to have survive inside of a Farraday cage.

Simple stuff would probably be fine; transistor radios and the like.

Anything with modern circuitry would be fried even if disconnected, or that is my understanding - the electrical pathways of the circuit board would be overloaded and burned out.  Lightbulbs would light up even if not screwed in.  It would be crazy shiat right out of a movie, really.  Or, again, that is my understanding.
 
2014-03-20 01:31:07 PM

Magorn: soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?


Knowing it was about to happen they'd have to shut off the entire world's power grid to save damage. It would not cut off all damage though. They would probably have to ground all aircraft. The vast majority of satellites would be affected. GPS would be lost. Batteries would probably all overload or discharge, rendering all cars immobile.

If there was a Mayan apocalypse in 2012, that would be it.
 
2014-03-20 01:31:25 PM
There's a "your mom" joke in here somewhere.
 
2014-03-20 01:31:56 PM
Hmmm...  I wonder if there was a spike in cancer following the 1859 event.
 
2014-03-20 01:35:12 PM

Eps05: Magorn: soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?

Knowing it was about to happen they'd have to shut off the entire world's power grid to save damage. It would not cut off all damage though. They would probably have to ground all aircraft. The vast majority of satellites would be affected. GPS would be lost. Batteries would probably all overload or discharge, rendering all cars immobile.

If there was a Mayan apocalypse in 2012, that would be it.


So any way to build say a "virtual Faraday cage" or interstellar lightning rod using,say beams of ionized matter, around the earth protect us?
 
2014-03-20 01:39:57 PM

lilbjorn: Hmmm...  I wonder if there was a spike in cancer following the 1859 event.


Or brain damage.
 
2014-03-20 01:44:27 PM

Mobutu: You'd need any electronics you hoped to have survive inside of a Farraday cage.

Simple stuff would probably be fine; transistor radios and the like.

Anything with modern circuitry would be fried even if disconnected, or that is my understanding - the electrical pathways of the circuit board would be overloaded and burned out.  Lightbulbs would light up even if not screwed in.  It would be crazy shiat right out of a movie, really.  Or, again, that is my understanding.


Mostly bullshiat.

Something unconnected to any long radiators, like a laptop or iPad just sitting there with nothing connected to it, wouldn't get enough voltage induced in it by a Carrington-like event to matter.

The real problem would be to the electrical grid itself, but there are protections built into that.  You might have a blackout for a few days, but pretty soon you'd be able to post to Facebook again.

Some sensitive electronics, like radios connected to large antennas, might also be in danger, but the simple expedient of disconnecting the antennas should work OK.  I didn't hear about ham radios in Quebec getting fried in the 1989 event.
 
2014-03-20 01:51:53 PM

dittybopper: Mobutu: You'd need any electronics you hoped to have survive inside of a Farraday cage.

Simple stuff would probably be fine; transistor radios and the like.

Anything with modern circuitry would be fried even if disconnected, or that is my understanding - the electrical pathways of the circuit board would be overloaded and burned out.  Lightbulbs would light up even if not screwed in.  It would be crazy shiat right out of a movie, really.  Or, again, that is my understanding.

Mostly bullshiat.

Something unconnected to any long radiators, like a laptop or iPad just sitting there with nothing connected to it, wouldn't get enough voltage induced in it by a Carrington-like event to matter.

The real problem would be to the electrical grid itself, but there are protections built into that.  You might have a blackout for a few days, but pretty soon you'd be able to post to Facebook again.

Some sensitive electronics, like radios connected to large antennas, might also be in danger, but the simple expedient of disconnecting the antennas should work OK.  I didn't hear about ham radios in Quebec getting fried in the 1989 event.



So uh, proof?  I'm pretty sure NASA released a study on this a few years ago that no one paid attention to but indicates everything you denied would happen would actually happen bolstered by evidence of what happened in Canada years ago.
 
2014-03-20 01:52:48 PM

dittybopper: Mobutu: You'd need any electronics you hoped to have survive inside of a Farraday cage.

Simple stuff would probably be fine; transistor radios and the like.

Anything with modern circuitry would be fried even if disconnected, or that is my understanding - the electrical pathways of the circuit board would be overloaded and burned out.  Lightbulbs would light up even if not screwed in.  It would be crazy shiat right out of a movie, really.  Or, again, that is my understanding.

Mostly bullshiat.

Something unconnected to any long radiators, like a laptop or iPad just sitting there with nothing connected to it, wouldn't get enough voltage induced in it by a Carrington-like event to matter.

The real problem would be to the electrical grid itself, but there are protections built into that.  You might have a blackout for a few days, but pretty soon you'd be able to post to Facebook again.

Some sensitive electronics, like radios connected to large antennas, might also be in danger, but the simple expedient of disconnecting the antennas should work OK.  I didn't hear about ham radios in Quebec getting fried in the 1989 event.


Well, that could explain why you didn't hear about it.
 
2014-03-20 01:54:55 PM
Trilllion with three l's. That's how you know it's a lot.
 
2014-03-20 01:56:03 PM

nitefallz: So uh, proof?  I'm pretty sure NASA released a study on this a few years ago that no one paid attention to but indicates everything you denied would happen would actually happen bolstered by evidence of what happened in Canada years ago.


How about you give some proof.

I feel that the person with the wildest claims should provide the proof.

He's all "nahh, it will be mostly fine", and the other side is all "we're all gonna die".
 
2014-03-20 01:57:49 PM

Mobutu: dittybopper: Magorn: soooo anything we can do short of hardening all electronics on earth to Tempest Standards?  or is this kinda like the giant asteroid thing: even if we knew it was coming there is fark all we can do about it?

Keep a spare unconnected to anything.   Then simply swap out the fried electronics that were connected to miles and miles of wire without so much as a surge protector.

The only thing I'd actually be worried about is the power distribution system.  Most communications across any distance these days are carried by fiber optics, so that's not a real concern.

Not so simple.

You'd need any electronics you hoped to have survive inside of a Farraday cage.

Simple stuff would probably be fine; transistor radios and the like.

Anything with modern circuitry would be fried even if disconnected, or that is my understanding - the electrical pathways of the circuit board would be overloaded and burned out.  Lightbulbs would light up even if not screwed in.  It would be crazy shiat right out of a movie, really.  Or, again, that is my understanding.


Not even a tiny little bit close.  Geomagnetic storms damage the power grid because changing magnetic fields induce currents in giant loops of wire.  But those changing magnetic fields are weak as hell, even in a storm like the Carrington event, compared to the static geomagnetic field.  Anything that moves relative to the Earth already experiences far more severe magnetic fluctuations, simply because rotating in the Earth's magnetic field creates the same effect.  The worst estimates for the worst geomagnetic storm in history are equivalent to rotating in the geomagnetic field at less than one revolution per minute.  If your car doesn't fry itself every time you pull a U-turn, it won't care.  If your phone doesn't explode when you flip it over, it won't care.

The problem is that the power grid doesn't have to survive moving around, it has gigantic inductive pickup loops, and its transformers are vulnerable to DC currents getting mixed into the AC they're supposed to handle.  The iron cores go into magnetic saturation, their inductance drops, magnetizing current goes up, heat dissipation goes up, and they burn out.  The geomagnetically-induced current doesn't do the damage directly, though -- it just creates conditions where the AC load causes overheating.  The grid can be completely, absolutely protected from damage by turning it off.  As you might imagine, that's not a step that anyone wants to take lightly, but it can be done, and there are existing satellites which provide some early warning.
 
2014-03-20 01:59:16 PM

nitefallz: So uh, proof?  I'm pretty sure NASA released a study on this a few years ago that no one paid attention to but indicates everything you denied would happen would actually happen bolstered by evidence of what happened in Canada years ago.


So I'm sure you have a link to it.
 
2014-03-20 02:00:55 PM

Professor Science: Not even a tiny little bit close.  Geomagnetic storms damage the power grid because changing magnetic fields induce currents in giant loops of wire.  But those changing magnetic fields are weak as hell, even in a storm like the Carrington event, compared to the static geomagnetic field.  Anything that moves relative to the Earth already experiences far more severe magnetic fluctuations, simply because rotating in the Earth's magnetic field creates the same effect.  The worst estimates for the worst geomagnetic storm in history are equivalent to rotating in the geomagnetic field at less than one revolution per minute.  If your car doesn't fry itself every time you pull a U-turn, it won't care.  If your phone doesn't explode when you flip it over, it won't care.

The problem is that the power grid doesn't have to survive moving around, it has gigantic inductive pickup loops, and its transformers are vulnerable to DC currents getting mixed into the AC they're supposed to handle.  The iron cores go into magnetic saturation, their inductance drops, magnetizing current goes up, heat dissipation goes up, and they burn out.  The geomagnetically-induced current doesn't do the damage directly, though -- it just creates conditions where the AC load causes overheating.  The grid can be completely, absolutely protected from damage by turning it off.  As you might imagine, that's not a step that anyone wants to take lightly, but it can be done, and there are existing satellites which provide some early warning.


Whole lotta this.
 
2014-03-20 02:20:56 PM
And they're telling us about this now?  Why?
 
2014-03-20 02:23:01 PM
So 9 days off eh?

Earths orbit is around 585 million miles

365,25 days in a year

Earth travels about 1.6 million miles in a day

So 14,4 million miles off eh? And that's a close call??
 
2014-03-20 02:26:01 PM

lordargent: nitefallz: So uh, proof?  I'm pretty sure NASA released a study on this a few years ago that no one paid attention to but indicates everything you denied would happen would actually happen bolstered by evidence of what happened in Canada years ago.

How about you give some proof.

I feel that the person with the wildest claims should provide the proof.

He's all "nahh, it will be mostly fine", and the other side is all "we're all gonna die".



Really? You feel my claim is the wildest?  Are you guys smoking crack today?

There's this:  www.lloyds.com%2F~%2Fmedia%2Flloyds%2Freports%2Femerging%2520risk%252 0 reports%2Fsolar%2520storm%2520risk%2520to%2520the%2520north%2520americ an%2520electric%2520grid.pdf&ei=EDIrU4PiC_LE0AHyiYGwDQ&usg=AFQjCNEutVX yJEFj7H7cCZgDkgnlspTUIA&sig2=hMI8Mw240a1cANUKWCinpg&bvm=bv.62922401,d. dmQ

There's been other publications too, but if basically if you're saying that all reports and evidence that a Carrington like event would NOT have major effect on our electronics, YOU need to provide the proof because you're basically denying the existing evidence already.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/sun_darkness.html
 
2014-03-20 02:30:33 PM

bikerbob59: And they're telling us about this now?  Why?


This story, or something indistinguishable from it, shows up every few months when some university press office is having a slow week.
 
2014-03-20 02:31:04 PM
Sounds hot.
 
2014-03-20 02:40:25 PM

Professor Science: bikerbob59: And they're telling us about this now?  Why?

This story, or something indistinguishable from it, shows up every few months when some university press office is having a slow week.


This.

We've had a whole bunch of events happen in the last 20 or 30 years, some pretty significant, and while we've had some outages, it hasn't been 'Chicken Little' worthy.

A lot of people point to the Carrington Event but fail to understand that systems like single line telegraphs are tailor made to suck up that energy.  You've got tens or even hundreds of miles of wire that has a circuit that also uses the ground.  Of *COURSE* an event like that is going to induce current in that much wire as it bleeds to ground.

That doesn't mean it would fry your tablet computer or the electronic systems in your car.
 
2014-03-20 02:48:38 PM
Back in the early 90's, I worked on a government IT project that involved a rollout of both new software and hardware over a WAN with multiple users, including novices.  After system testing and user training, I happened to read that solar flare activity *might* bring a widespread disruption of electrical systems, and system communications.

I gave it no cred, but tried to spoof the project director with a straight-faced, alarmist approach.  He sat there, tapping away at his office PC and listened but did not look up, much.  Then he told me equally straight-faced to go find 1,200 Hefty bags to cover and protect the CRTs.

Oh, snap.jpg
 
2014-03-20 02:48:46 PM

TheNewJesus: So 9 days off eh?

Earths orbit is around 585 million miles

365,25 days in a year

Earth travels about 1.6 million miles in a day

So 14,4 million miles off eh? And that's a close call??


Cosmically speaking, yes.  The moon is 289,000 or so miles from us, on average, and the Earth is some 900,000,000 miles from the sun.
 
2014-03-20 02:49:43 PM
Where would that money go?  Just blown off into space?  Well, I guess maybe the bitcoins would.
 
2014-03-20 02:51:52 PM
Er, 90m, not 900m.  Which does make this seem far less of a "near miss."
 
2014-03-20 02:57:16 PM

nitefallz: There's been other publications too, but if basically if you're saying that all reports and evidence that a Carrington like event would NOT have major effect on our electronics, YOU need to provide the proof because you're basically denying the existing evidence already.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/sun_darkness.html


Where in that link did it suggest that event affected electronic devices other than from a lack of power? The reality is a massive solar event like a CME induces current in long wires, and COULD devastate our power grid. It could be a big, big problem. But it's unlikely to cook an iPhone or the computer inside your car's engine simply because there aren't any antennae of sufficient length in those products.
 
2014-03-20 02:58:32 PM

Mobutu: TheNewJesus: So 9 days off eh?

Earths orbit is around 585 million miles

365,25 days in a year

Earth travels about 1.6 million miles in a day

So 14,4 million miles off eh? And that's a close call??

Cosmically speaking, yes.  The moon is 289,000 or so miles from us, on average, and the Earth is some 900,000,000 miles from the sun.


I think you're off by about an order of magnitude there.
 
2014-03-20 02:59:41 PM

Mobutu: Er, 90m, not 900m.  Which does make this seem far less of a "near miss."


Sorry, didn't see you correct yourself.  Ignore my previous post, if you're not ignoring my idiocy already.
 
2014-03-20 03:03:31 PM

Professor Science: The grid can be completely, absolutely protected from damage by turning it off. As you might imagine, that's not a step that anyone wants to take lightly, but it can be done, and there are existing satellites which provide some early warning.


I dont know what kind of advance warning we'd get, but I'm sure the bureaucracy that would stand in the way of a voluntary grid shut down would probably prevent it from getting done in time, in many cases. Shutting down a grid is not just flipping a switch.  My money would be on the CME...
 
2014-03-20 03:09:57 PM

dittybopper: That's OK, because the 6 meter aurora propagation would have been *GLORIOUS*.


i worked eastern europe from w3 on cw and ssb 100w on 50.130 for a good chunk of the afternoon in June of 2012.
 
2014-03-20 03:13:46 PM

Mobutu: TheNewJesus: So 9 days off eh?

Earths orbit is around 585 million miles

365,25 days in a year

Earth travels about 1.6 million miles in a day

So 14,4 million miles off eh? And that's a close call??

Cosmically speaking, yes.  The moon is 289,000 or so miles from us, on average, and the Earth is some 900,000,000 miles from the sun.


And apparently the earth travels in a linear path.
 
2014-03-20 03:23:27 PM

nitefallz:

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/sun_darkness.html


Put yourself in the shoes of someone who hasn't done any research or looked into the subject before.

On one hand, you have someone saying things will get destroyed.
On the other hand, you have someone saying things might get destroyed, but not much.

Neither of them provided any evidence to back up their claims.

At the surface, however, your statements are the more extreme of the two. A request for data shouldn't put you out of sorts.
 
2014-03-20 03:23:49 PM

Marshmallow Jones: I dont know what kind of advance warning we'd get, but I'm sure the bureaucracy that would stand in the way of a voluntary grid shut down would probably prevent it from getting done in time, in many cases. Shutting down a grid is not just flipping a switch.  My money would be on the CME...


You're probably right about that.  The really solid CME data comes from spacecraft at the Earth-Sun L1 point, and those give less than an hour of lead time.  Imagery from STEREO gives you warning basically from the moment of ejection, but with far less detail and information.

I've heard of efforts underway since, um, the early 2000s? to streamline that decision process.  I have no idea if they've gone anywhere, and that probably means they haven't.
 
2014-03-20 03:24:26 PM

TheNewJesus: So 9 days off eh?

I've seen this estimate in print, but I have also seen "Luckily for us, we were on the other side of the sun, thus missing the chaos completely." (link) So that's a near miss in the sames regards as someone firing a gun to the East when you are standing to the West.

Either way, it was in our solar plane so is still kinda scary. The odds of being hit are pretty low, but then again so are the chances of actually hitting your neighbors kids if you fire bullets into their yard.
 
2014-03-20 03:29:32 PM

stonelotus: [i1207.photobucket.com image 320x240]


img1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2014-03-20 03:30:08 PM

asciibaron: dittybopper: That's OK, because the 6 meter aurora propagation would have been *GLORIOUS*.

i worked eastern europe from w3 on cw and ssb 100w on 50.130 for a good chunk of the afternoon in June of 2012.


Yeah, well, you've got a good 10 dB output advantage over me on that band.
 
2014-03-20 03:30:09 PM

nitefallz: lordargent: nitefallz: So uh, proof?  I'm pretty sure NASA released a study on this a few years ago that no one paid attention to but indicates everything you denied would happen would actually happen bolstered by evidence of what happened in Canada years ago.

How about you give some proof.

I feel that the person with the wildest claims should provide the proof.

He's all "nahh, it will be mostly fine", and the other side is all "we're all gonna die".


Really? You feel my claim is the wildest?  Are you guys smoking crack today?

There's this:  www.lloyds.com%2F~%2Fmedia%2Flloyds%2Freports%2Femerging%2520risk%252 0 reports%2Fsolar%2520storm%2520risk%2520to%2520the%2520north%2520americ an%2520electric%2520grid.pdf&ei=EDIrU4PiC_LE0AHyiYGwDQ&usg=AFQjCNEutVX yJEFj7H7cCZgDkgnlspTUIA&sig2=hMI8Mw240a1cANUKWCinpg&bvm=bv.62922401,d. dmQ

There's been other publications too, but if basically if you're saying that all reports and evidence that a Carrington like event would NOT have major effect on our electronics, YOU need to provide the proof because you're basically denying the existing evidence already.

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/sun_darkness.html


Your first link is broken and the second one basically agrees with dittybopper with regards to what's vulnerable (the electrical grid) and what's not (disconnected small electronics).

Not saying that blackouts aren't bad, but we're also not talking about the complete destruction of all modern technology like Mobutu mentioned.

"Anything with modern circuitry would be fried even if disconnected, or that is my understanding - the electrical pathways of the circuit board would be overloaded and burned out."
 
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