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(Space.com)   "Monster" solar flare earlier this year called the "best observed in history", and will hold that title until one hits Earth full-on, frying every piece of electronic circuitry ever made   (space.com) divider line 32
    More: Scary, Earth, national solar observatory, networks, solar flares, communications blackout, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, fusion reactors, GPS signals  
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1952 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 May 2014 at 1:49 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



32 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-05-09 11:20:30 AM  
Tempest or Emsec.
 
2014-05-09 11:25:05 AM  
At one point, the best observed solar flare was just Richard Christopher Carrington with an 1850's telescope noticing a bright flash near sunspots he was observing followed by a geomagnetic storm on earth the next day. Now we have multiple solar telescope facilities and satellites like IRIS in orbit. And the next get solar observation tech will be EVEN BETTER. Every solar flare will hold the title of "best observed" until the next one.
 
2014-05-09 12:18:12 PM  
I'm going to be so pissed if all the Preppers I made fun of turn out to be right.
 
2014-05-09 01:55:57 PM  
DNRTFA - wasn't there one in the 1800s that fried telegraph equipment for a considerable time?
 
2014-05-09 01:59:55 PM  
Good. Electronics are overrated anyway.
 
2014-05-09 02:04:27 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: I'm going to be so pissed if all the Preppers I made fun of turn out to be right.


Don't worry.  There's no chance that any sort of world-altering solar event is going to play out exactly like the apocalyptic scenarios that live inside their heads.
 
2014-05-09 02:08:08 PM  
frying every piece of electronic circuitry ever made

i5.photobucket.com
 
2014-05-09 02:09:23 PM  

lemurs: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I'm going to be so pissed if all the Preppers I made fun of turn out to be right.

Don't worry.  There's no chance that any sort of world-altering solar event is going to play out exactly like the apocalyptic scenarios that live inside their heads.


You're right. It could be even stronger and strip away our atmosphere, exposing us to the vacuum of space.

/damn, universe, you scary
 
2014-05-09 02:10:30 PM  
Solar flare != coronal mass ejection.
 
2014-05-09 02:40:15 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: lemurs: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I'm going to be so pissed if all the Preppers I made fun of turn out to be right.

Don't worry.  There's no chance that any sort of world-altering solar event is going to play out exactly like the apocalyptic scenarios that live inside their heads.

You're right. It could be even stronger and strip away our atmosphere, exposing us to the vacuum of space.

/damn, universe, you scary


There has to be some Prepper some where out there with a used spacesuit locked away just for this type of situation.
 
2014-05-09 02:42:09 PM  

The Crepes of Wrath: Solar flare != coronal mass ejection.


Coronal Mass Ejection.

My band name... MINE!
 
2014-05-09 02:42:46 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: lemurs: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I'm going to be so pissed if all the Preppers I made fun of turn out to be right.

Don't worry.  There's no chance that any sort of world-altering solar event is going to play out exactly like the apocalyptic scenarios that live inside their heads.

You're right. It could be even stronger and strip away our atmosphere, exposing us to the vacuum of space.

/damn, universe, you scary


Neither we, nor this universe, could never be so lucky.
 
2014-05-09 02:43:22 PM  
or maybe, ever?

wow, double negative much?
 
2014-05-09 02:50:32 PM  
battlestarrevealed.files.wordpress.com
Someone needs to blow the Eye of Jupiter before it gets here.
 
2014-05-09 03:24:36 PM  
... and will retain that title, because we won't be able to better observe another one.
 
2014-05-09 03:27:22 PM  

Professor Science: frying every piece of electronic circuitry ever made


Kinda makes me glad I hung on to my old comic book collection.
 
2014-05-09 03:32:52 PM  

lemurs: The Stealth Hippopotamus: I'm going to be so pissed if all the Preppers I made fun of turn out to be right.

Don't worry.  There's no chance that any sort of world-altering solar event is going to play out exactly like the apocalyptic scenarios that live inside their heads.


You'll eat those words when Adriana Lima crash-lands her stealth helicopter next to the bunker and begs for shelter.

/you'll see, you'll all see!
 
2014-05-09 03:39:28 PM  

Fark like a Barsoomian: [battlestarrevealed.files.wordpress.com image 640x361]
Someone needs to blow the Eye of Jupiter before it gets here.


s12.postimg.org
No I am the Eye of Jupiter!
 
2014-05-09 03:55:03 PM  

danknerd: There has to be some Prepper some where out there with a used spacesuit locked away just for this type of situation.


It's probably also been considered by some of the bunker people.
 
2014-05-09 03:59:17 PM  

BumpInTheNight: No I am the Eye of Jupiter!


Are... are you all trying to con a blowjob out of the solar flare?
 
2014-05-09 04:20:09 PM  

quiotu: The Crepes of Wrath: Solar flare != coronal mass ejection.

Coronal Mass Ejection.

My band name... MINE!


Too late, someone took it in another thread.

All my electronics are unplugged, all the time, so I'm safe.
/kidding, eddy currents for the win
 
2014-05-09 04:35:34 PM  

doglover: At one point, the best observed solar flare was just Richard Christopher Carrington with an 1850's telescope noticing a bright flash near sunspots he was observing followed by a geomagnetic storm on earth the next day. Now we have multiple solar telescope facilities and satellites like IRIS in orbit. And the next get solar observation tech will be EVEN BETTER. Every solar flare will hold the title of "best observed" until the next one.


Yep, what a time to be alive.

i.imgur.com
 
2014-05-09 04:40:19 PM  
i1003.photobucket.com
 
2014-05-09 05:47:45 PM  

CoonAce: DNRTFA - wasn't there one in the 1800s that fried telegraph equipment for a considerable time?


Yep.

"In June 2013, a joint venture from researchers at Lloyd's of London and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) in the United States used data from the Carrington Event to estimate the current cost of a similar event to the world economy at $2.6 trillion."

If it was big enough: One Second After

ecx.images-amazon.com

My second worst fear for civilization's end (behind asteroid/comet impact): not nukes or bioweapons or superviruses, but the sudden elimination of 95+% of our transistors.

While the book has flaws, some resources are not used optimally and some decisions are not well thought out, the premise is right as we'd still be well and truly farked for a long time.
 
2014-05-09 06:51:49 PM  

Seraphym: CoonAce: DNRTFA - wasn't there one in the 1800s that fried telegraph equipment for a considerable time?

Yep.

"In June 2013, a joint venture from researchers at Lloyd's of London and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) in the United States used data from the Carrington Event to estimate the current cost of a similar event to the world economy at $2.6 trillion."

If it was big enough: One Second After



My second worst fear for civilization's end (behind asteroid/comet impact): not nukes or bioweapons or superviruses, but the sudden elimination of 95+% of our transistors.

While the book has flaws, some resources are not used optimally and some decisions are not well thought out, the premise is right as we'd still be well and truly farked for a long time.


One second after... We'd all still have about 8 minutes before anyone noticed there was something wrong.
 
2014-05-09 07:10:39 PM  

Delta1212: One second after... We'd all still have about 8 minutes before anyone noticed there was something wrong.


The very second the Twitter feed breaks they'll notice
 
2014-05-09 08:05:39 PM  
Every time this sort of thing comes up I hear the same false information:

Solar flares?! EMP's?
adamdownunder.com

Scientist and engineers have known about and been working on solving these problems since the 1960's. Modern electronics are hardened against EMP and solar flares. You can take a board out of your computer and handle it without being grounded and you won't kill it 90% of the time. 20 years ago, you had to make sure you were grounded and weren't wearing synthetic clothing or you would cook the electronics with one touch.

The electrical grid is protected too and will open all the breakers in less than a quarter of a cycle to prevent any damage. The grid will have to reset after the event, which can take a few hours to restore power depending on where you are in the system. Your electronics will shut off or just freeze for a little bit and then be just fine. Old stuff from the 90's or earlier will cook if turned on at the time.

Oh and the internet and phones will work just fine since they run on hardened electronics and 90% on fiber optics, which are immune to electromagnetic interference.

We would lose some satellites and the ISS could be in danger, but that is pretty minor. (main satellites we would miss would be the weather satellites, but they are due to be replaced in the next 10 years anyway. The new ones are going to be hardened against solar flare and EMP since the US Navy and US DoD want them to be more reliable)

\false fear
 
2014-05-09 09:29:19 PM  

gozar_the_destroyer: The electrical grid is protected too and will open all the breakers in less than a quarter of a cycle to prevent any damage.


That's not what NASA says about a repeat of the Carrington Event. (The largest flare in recent history.)

science1.nasa.gov

science1.nasa.gov

Long duration power outages that could last multiple years sounds pretty serious.
 
2014-05-09 09:44:44 PM  

BullBearMS: gozar_the_destroyer: The electrical grid is protected too and will open all the breakers in less than a quarter of a cycle to prevent any damage.

That's not what NASA says about a repeat of the Carrington Event. (The largest flare in recent history.)

[science1.nasa.gov image 500x303]

[science1.nasa.gov image 850x610]

Long duration power outages that could last multiple years sounds pretty serious.


The chart for the west of the Rockies is out of date by a couple of decades or the NASA scientists that created that report didn't contact anyone that actually knows how the system works. The RAS used in the west is rated to protect against that level of induction and the communication system used is no longer just microwave radio. It still uses the radio as a backup, but the system runs primarily on fiber optics embedded in the transmission lines.

Now the systems over on the eastern seaboard and the deep south...they are still upgrading those.
 
2014-05-09 09:58:07 PM  

gozar_the_destroyer: The chart for the west of the Rockies is out of date by a couple of decades or the NASA scientists that created that report didn't contact anyone that actually knows how the system works.


If so, the DHS took another look in 2011 and came to the same conclusion.

Do you have some citation for recent changes to the grid?
 
2014-05-09 11:01:25 PM  

BullBearMS: gozar_the_destroyer: The chart for the west of the Rockies is out of date by a couple of decades or the NASA scientists that created that report didn't contact anyone that actually knows how the system works.

If so, the DHS took another look in 2011 and came to the same conclusion.

Do you have some citation for recent changes to the grid?


For citations, Google "Smart Grid" and "Remedial Action Scheme in power grid".

They aren't recent changes on the west side of the country. The Remedial Action Scheme (RAS) has been in place since the 80's. In the 90's, the communications system migrated to the embedded fiber optics as the primary system. Over on the east side, they are calling the system Smart Grid and the feds started helping pay for putting the system in place in the rest of the country to deal with things like solar flares/EMPs, but it is mainly meant to protect the power grid equipment in the event of a line being broken or a spike going through the transmission lines and melting parts of the system. It happens automatically and in less than 4.17 milliseconds (typically far less than that).

The long term outages that are talked about in the NASA report assume that lines are not able to be disconnected because of no communications during the magnetic storm. This would allow damage to not only the transformers, but also to the generators and other equipment. Each of these failures would cascade down the system and damage the transformers further down the line.

However, this isn't the case since electromagnetic flux does not affect fiber optics.  My guess is that both of the reports show that there were old systems in place that were still using either copper or radio communications systems to control the grid or, more likely, the researchers didn't know about the embedded fiber optics in the transmission lines at all and assumed the systems used radio and/or copper cable for control communications.
 
2014-05-09 11:46:41 PM  
photos.imageevent.com


They're coming to get you, Barbara, there's one of them now!
 
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