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(CNN)   Hope you wore sunscreen for 7 seconds on May 1, 2019   (cnn.com) divider line
    More: Spiffy, Sun, Star, Proxima Centauri, ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, high energy flares, extreme flares, habitable zone of the star, flares  
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1227 clicks; posted to STEM » on 22 Apr 2021 at 6:30 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



14 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-04-22 6:52:08 AM  
Well, I suppose we don't need to look for intelligent life on planets in the Proxima Centauri system any longer.
 
2021-04-22 7:08:04 AM  
Meanwhile, we don't think our electrical grid would survive a repeat of that "100 times less powerful flare" that had been seen here from our own sun, back when telegraphs were the hot new technology.  Too many transformers would melt down.

A new study about solar-induced power outages in the U.S. electric grid finds that a few key regions-a portion of the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard-appear to be more vulnerable than others.

There has, at least, been some effort to start stockpiling equipment in recent years, but as we just saw in Texas, going without power for just a few days doesn't go well.
 
2021-04-22 7:09:34 AM  

MagicChicken: Well, I suppose we don't need to look for intelligent life on planets in the Proxima Centauri system any longer.


One day we'll find intelligent life in our universe.

Or, maybe, like, octopi or dolphins or something will evolve to be the first.
 
2021-04-22 8:17:57 AM  
And all the Bitcoins disappeared.
 
2021-04-22 8:26:13 AM  

BullBearMS: Meanwhile, we don't think our electrical grid would survive a repeat of that "100 times less powerful flare" that had been seen here from our own sun, back when telegraphs were the hot new technology.  Too many transformers would melt down.


I really doubt that, for three different reasons.

First and foremost, the long-distance telegraph lines back then ran on about 100 volts DC with an earth-return circuit.  Modern long-distance electrical lines run on kilovolts and megavolts.   If you impress a couple thousand volts in a line built to handle 100 volts, you'll get some pretty impressive effects.  Impressing that much extra voltage into a line built to handle 100,000 volts or even 1,000,000 volts AC isn't going to be nearly as impressive.

This is something that people just never ever even think about when comparing the two.  It's not just apples and oranges, it's more like apples and asparagus.  So the effects of the Carrington Event on the telegraph system should be, if not ignored, at least taken with a massive grain of salt.

Secondly, we'll know when it's coming, and we'll be able to take measures to protect the system.  We watch the Sun 24/7/365, so we know whenever there is a coronal mass ejection, and we'd have at a bare minimum half a day to implement measures like isolating circuits and shutting things down to protect the system.

Third, we learned a lot from the March 1989 geomagnetic storm that cause a blackout in Quebec.  We have an organization *SPECIFICALLY* empowered to make standards and enforce those standards:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_A​m​erican_Electric_Reliability_Corporatio​n#NERC_authority


There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on this issue (you should hear the "preppers" talk about it!), but honestly while it is a legitimate concern, it's not "THE SKY IS FALLING!" issue many make it out to be.
 
2021-04-22 8:29:47 AM  
Oh, and I forgot to mention:   All of those transformers have protection circuits designed to isolate them from the system if the current they are receiving is too high.  That's what caused the 2003 Northeast blackout:  The protection circuits tripped over a very wide area because too much current was being shunted through them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northea​s​t_blackout_of_2003#Background
 
2021-04-22 8:34:50 AM  
Oh, and this should have been the Devil's dumplings:

i.ytimg.comView Full Size


Anybody not wearing two million sunblock is gonna have a real bad day, get it?!
 
2021-04-22 9:07:00 AM  
OK...I'll be the one to do it
Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)
Youtube xavFb4WH7o0
 
2021-04-22 12:18:14 PM  
I was probably in my windowless office
 
2021-04-22 12:26:31 PM  
 
2021-04-22 12:47:18 PM  

MagicChicken: Well, I suppose we don't need to look for intelligent life on planets in the Proxima Centauri system any longer.


Might as well expand that to most any red dwarf star.  Nasty flare are common for them and any planet close enough to have liquid water is going to be tidally locked.

/Some might be good for a few billion years near the end of their lives, but no red dwarf is old enough.

//Saw a bunch of red dwarves flaring in the Planet Hunters data
 
2021-04-22 2:17:44 PM  

dittybopper: There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth on this issue (you should hear the "preppers" talk about it!), but honestly while it is a legitimate concern, it's not "THE SKY IS FALLING!" issue many make it out to be.


Maybe? Nuclear power plants themselves seem like vulnerable targets in other, less democratic, more poorly funded, countries. Whatever safeguards we have, there are probably not analogues throughout other continents.
 
2021-04-22 7:41:41 PM  

TheMysteriousStranger: MagicChicken: Well, I suppose we don't need to look for intelligent life on planets in the Proxima Centauri system any longer.

Might as well expand that to most any red dwarf star.  Nasty flare are common for them and any planet close enough to have liquid water is going to be tidally locked.

/Some might be good for a few billion years near the end of their lives, but no red dwarf is old enough.

//Saw a bunch of red dwarves flaring in the Planet Hunters data


This is the same guy who assured me that it was impossible to test for the presence of a virus without waiting for the person to develop antibodies for that virus, despite the fact that a brazillion COVID tests a day globally were doing exactly that.
 
2021-04-23 4:41:12 PM  

BullBearMS: TheMysteriousStranger: MagicChicken: Well, I suppose we don't need to look for intelligent life on planets in the Proxima Centauri system any longer.

Might as well expand that to most any red dwarf star.  Nasty flare are common for them and any planet close enough to have liquid water is going to be tidally locked.

/Some might be good for a few billion years near the end of their lives, but no red dwarf is old enough.

//Saw a bunch of red dwarves flaring in the Planet Hunters data

This is the same guy who assured me that it was impossible to test for the presence of a virus without waiting for the person to develop antibodies for that virus, despite the fact that a brazillion COVID tests a day globally were doing exactly that.


Well, maybe the red dwarves had developed antibodies, so their flareups activated an immune response that showed up in the  tests?
 
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