Will Possible Solar Flares Be A Huge Deal?

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by neil-v1, Jun 12, 2010.

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  1. neil-v1

    neil-v1 Old Member

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    I have heard a few stories about solar storms / flares that will soon begin to start up in the next year. Will this be a huge deal or something that could be the trigger for a s.h.t.f. scenario? I have heard that these solar storms could begin to start by next March. Has anyone else heard this? Does anyone know what will or may happen?
     
  2. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    NO One knows........Could be very bad, No one knows what will happen, any more than they knew about Y2K. There is much to learn about what COULD Happen, and what HAS Happened in the past. There is lots of research, you can read, but it can not be boiled down to one neat sentence or three.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010

  3. Kathryn

    Kathryn Active Member

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    Solar Flare

    While it is true that there is no way to know exactly what will happen if a solar flare, or more precisely a CME (coronal mass ejections), hits the earth, but we do have history to give us an idea of what could happen. Below are two recent quotes and a video about CME's and their potential and proven effects.

    "People of the 21st century rely on high-tech systems for the basics of daily life. But smart power grids, GPS navigation, air travel, financial services and emergency radio communications can all be knocked out by intense solar activity." "A major solar storm could cause twenty times more economic damage than Hurricane Katrina, warned the National Academy of Sciences in a 2008 report, "Severe Space Weather Events—Societal and Economic Impacts."

    While I personally believe that they (government and astronomical professionals) are being responsible by not informing the public of just how severe these could effect our way of living, I also believe that it is prudent that those who take this into consideration and truly contemplate the extent of disruption to life that this type of event could cause, and be prepared. The first and most important issue to be concerned with is the potential for this type of storm to blow up transformers, which the majority of major electric companies own is about 20-30, for which they only have one or two spares available at a time. If the majority of the transformers blow up then the public would be without power, which besides being annoying can be the start to disaster. Imagine what in your life would be affected by a loss of electricity: air conditioner (heat related issues), refridgerator (food spoilage), the pumps that supply your water (limited source of drinking water), gas pumps (no gasoline), traffic lights (accidents), ATM's (no cash), radios and televisions (no warnings), telecommunications (no way to contact family members or help), hospitals without electricity thus operating on back-up generators which will eventually run out of gasoline to operate, security systems shut down (looting), and evenually social disorder.

    In the past, 1889, a CME hit the earth and shut down telegraphs and caught telegraph buildings on fire. Back then people did not depend on such things as electricity, and they were more used to living the simple life off the land. People today are not only dependent upon electricity, but on the ease of getting their food and comfort from stores. Those who decide to learn to limit their dependency on these comforts will be the ones who have the best chance to handle the loss of these comforts. As I said before, no one knows exactly what will happen but being oblivious to the potential is worse than ignorance and borders on stupidity.
     
  4. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    For your reading enjoyment. :D


    A 132-page study by the National Academy of Sciences about the potential global impact of a super large solar flare, such as the "Carrington flare" of 1859 (which was also the first solar flare ever observed, and named after Richard Carrington, one of the observers). This event caused a severe geomagnetic storm, which disrupted telegraph communications and had it occurred today, its impact on electrical systems, telecommunications and commerce would be catastrophic.
    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/solar-weather/


    ...telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.
    A Super Solar Flare - NASA Science


    And here's one all about space weather.
    SPACE.com -- Space Weather and solar weather FAQ


    If you need more, just ask. I have lots of astronomical sites in my bookmarks. :)
     
  5. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    Correct date was 1859, and yes, telegraph stations around the world were fried.
     
  6. allen_idaho

    allen_idaho Well-Known Member

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    Yes 1859 was the strongest recorded solar storm thus far.

    In 1921, a solar ejection disabled New York's train network.

    In 1940, a geomagnetic storm disrupted radio signals and shut down long distance phone service in the US.

    In 1989, a coronal ejection was linked to the Quebec Blackout which left 6 million Canadians without power.

    In 1997, a solar ejection disabled a $200 million dollar AT&T Satellite.

    In 2003, the biggest recorded x-ray flare damaged 28 satellites.

    You never know when these things are going to strike. Nor can you predict when or how strong.
     
  7. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    What do you think be a good way to prepare? would emp preps like a faraday box for any electronic needed? Could it possibly knock out vehicles and generators as well as the grid?
     
  8. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    YEP..........:2thumb: and Satellites. The problem with the Faraday box, is you can have dozens of hit in a week, and it could go on and on for years.
     
  9. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    I didn't think about repeated hits, good point. I think solar panels should be able to take it but the controller and invertor will get toasted. I think you still should be able to charge a battery right from a panel and operate simple 12v goodies like brushed motors, resistence heaters etc. I have an old lister-petter that should run through anything. I will only need to come up an alternator
     
  10. neil-v1

    neil-v1 Old Member

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    Can a file cabinet be used as a box to protect against EMP or does it have to have rubber underneath it?
     
  11. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    Sadly I do not own a TV. However Tuesday June 15th on the National Geographic channel there will be a program on EMP damage to the GRID. Enjoy.
     
  12. nj_m715

    nj_m715 www.veggear.blogspot.com

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    There's many sites to get tv online. This is the one I use
    wwiTV.com - The ultimate guide to online live TV webcasts.
    It takes a little getting used to, but it works. I don't have cable, so I use it mostly for sports games. There's one that is full of documentaries, but I don't have the link handy.
     
  13. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    if a cme is strong enough to neutralize vehicles on the ground wouldn't it have to pretty much annihilate earth's magnetic field?

    wouldn't that pretty much spell the end of life on earth?

    wouldn't that be pretty "unpreparable"?
     
  14. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    NO. The earth's Magnetic Field has switched many times, between North and South.
     
  15. Catastrophy

    Catastrophy Catastrophy

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    I gave my kids an old metal ammo box to put their Nintendos and MP3 players in when not in use. Will that protect the devices from solar flares?
     
  16. kogneto

    kogneto The Skeptic

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    i'm not talking about switching, I'm talking about if a solar flare were able to impact the earth so strongly it disable vehicle electronics, that would require enough energy to essentially destroy our magnetic field, if not it would seriously damage it and you'd have more to worry about from the radiation than the electromagnetic impact

    edit: main point here, the sun is very powerful, some things you just can't prepare to survive, you just have to prepare to die lol
     
  17. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    As other posts have pointed out, earth has experienced some nasty solar storms in the last 150 years and we survived just fine, but our everyday existence didn't depend on extremely vulnerable technology then.
     
  18. Sourdough

    Sourdough ExCommunicated

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    I am prepared to die........."And, today is a glorious day to die".
     
  19. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Sourdough - Lt.Worf? :wave:
     
  20. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Yep. That was my first thought. :)