Sun prepares merciless blow

15.07.2010

Paul KRASNOV


PHOTO: NASA

In the coming years the Sun, which owes its existence to every living creature on earth, can give its inhabitants a nasty surprise. Now the light passing through a 11-year cycles of development, gradually increasing activity, which reached a peak in 2013.

It is possible that in three years will happen solar storm, accompanied by high-speed solar wind streams. Consequences for human civilization could be severe.

Powerful solar emissions can damage the power lines, satellites, navigation systems and devices, communications (including the Internet), as well as the financial system. Although the implementation of such a scenario experts believe it unlikely this week in Washington, consultations were held, at which experts from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation and other organizations discussed how to best prepare for such a cataclysm.

"The sun wakes up from a deep sleep. Next few years will be marked by increased solar activity. Modern technological society ever sensitive to solar storms. Combination of these two factors, we are going to discuss," — said before the start of the conference, Richard Fisher, head of heliophysics at NASA.

If the solar storm will happen on the elimination of its consequences will have to spend a lot of time — in particular, only the replacement of transformers in power lines could take a year. The widespread power outage, in turn, will have other serious consequences — such as the depletion of drinking water because of the inaction of pumping stations and large-scale adulteration of food because of the termination of the refrigeration units.

Although the probability of a solar storm, scientists estimate is low, such disasters have occurred in the past. The strongest solar storm on record occurred in 1859 and was named "Carrington Event" — after the British astronomer Richard Carrington. Because of the strongest solar flare in the whole world bright auroras were observed in Europe and the United States were marked by widespread failures in the Telegraph.

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