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Thursday, August 01, 2013

Solar Flare Misses Earth - This Time

On Jerry Pournelle's:
Solar Flare Narrowly Misses Earth…
"There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us," said Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission from 2001-2008. He was referring to the 1859 EMP named after astronomer Richard Carrington that melted telegraph lines in Europe and North America."
Not to worry, though. I am certain all the. "climate change" models have thus factored into their data bases.
Charles Brumbelow
I have not done a systematic study, but I believe that northern lights were seen in Alexandria about every 300 years since classical times.  That probably indicates a Carrington class solar event. In 1859 the only long insulated wires in the world were telegraph lines.  So far as I can tell, during the 1859 event there were electrical events in every telegraph station, and many of them caught fire. We have a lot more long electrical lines now, and of course the effect on the electrical power grid cannot accurately be predicted. Some would make it the end of civilization.  Something of this sort is the premise of Lloyd Tackitt’s A Distant Eden and its sequels, which presents a grim picture of post disaster life.

        I have written about the Carrington Event before as one of the serious threats to civilisation.

        It strikes me that, since it is so directionally focused when it coincides with the presence of out particular planet is virtually random. That we last had a major one in 1859 does not make it more or less likely now (unlike say Vesuvius where the pressure builds up and the fact they haven't had once since 1945 suggests the next one will be spectacular). On the other hand if our solar observation is now good enough that we can see and measure coronal mass ejections we must have a large statistical population. Dividing the total area where such ejections, at different levels of intensity reach the height of Earth orbit by the areas actually hit each year at each level of intensity gives the odds for any one year. It will vary depending on the sunspot season, making it more complicated but in principle this can be done.

       It also means we can tell the odds of something more serious than Carrington and how much more. Before electricity we have no way of telling more accurate that the northern lights of old Alexandria records which say little about the possible maximum strength.

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