The end of awhich makes aurora borealis (also known as the Northern Lights) visible as far south as Chicago.
It is the first bit of exciting space we have had for many months, as we are in the quiet period at the end of the current 1
Perhaps the most famous magnetic storm is the so-called "Carrington Event" in 1859. The storm came at the beginning of our modern technological era and just knocked the young telegraph system out of commission temporarily as you lit up with colorful colors aurora so far south as today's Belize and Thailand.
Recently, an international research group has pored over many of the observations from the sunsets from 1859 to try to reconstruct the details. The resulting paper published in The Astrophysical Journal is filled with other anecdotes.
"At 22.25 (light 2) the stars of the third and fourth lights shone a lot," wrote George Neumayer, director of Australia's Melbourne Flagstaff Observatory, in 1864. "Beautiful rays through the Pisces. 15 minutes was a beautiful red arc, extending from E. to W., and passed through the crown, almost stationary. "  auroraedit "height =" 0 "width =" 970 "data-original =" https://cnet1.cbsistatic.com/img/-A63jb8DX-Ma71HYc5K0qSL2GhU=/970×0/2019/03/22/d29fe915-10b2- 406d-baae-48d52ef65fec / auroraedit.jpg "/>
An illustration of the view from Melbourne during Carrington Event
A report from Puerto Rico described "rays of light, red, purple and violet, extended to the sign", and another from central Mexico mentioned "a silver lily in the form of a circular arc (from the region of the sky where) glowing rays are extended downward. as if to meet a red light shining from the northern horizon. "While most of the solar storm activity was reported on September 1 and 2 in 1859, the sun was actually hyperactive from August 28 to September 4 . It must have been a whole week. It is noteworthy that reports of Aurora observations are even closer to the equator than most accounts of the event say – as far south as Panama.
There were extensive reports of telegraph transmission errors and even electric shocks and fires started by telegraph wires overwhelmed by the invisible attack of our star.
Imagining what a Carrington-level event would do for today's highly interwoven and critical electrical infrastructure has been the subject of great concern and for good reason.
We have seen strong solar storms in the modern era. Recently, an X-Class solar panel killed a satellite and caused a 12-hour blackout in parts of the northern United States and Ontario on Halloween in 2003. It was the strongest direct-measured flare so far. Another in 1989 caused a long blackout in Quebec, chanting with sensors on the space shuttle and causing a mini-panic that a nuclear attack could be going on. Nevertheless, the power of the 1859 event is likely to kill these newer storms.
But it turns out that Carrington Event may not even mark the far end of the spectrum for how intense a solar storm can get.
Earlier this month, a report arose in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which says it has signs of a solar storm around 660 B.C. as with a previously known event in 775 A.D. probably will have been much stronger still.
Both events could have been 10 to 20 times more powerful than Carrington Event, which enlightened the globe with aurora and disabled communication.
In other words, even though the sample size is very small, the story seems to tell us to expect a mega sun storm around once a week. Millennium. And if Carrington Event wasn't the big one in the last thousand years as the data also seems to show, we're actually far too late for a massive blast from the sun.