Solar Storm Cycle Approaching Maximum
We were hit by an M-9 solar storm of radiation recently, but we are now headed into a new solar maximum in 2013. If you look at the graph, it shows that our cycle is due to hit and could trigger blackouts by destroying transformers and also take out satellites. We were in a solar maximum cycle about 11 years ago, but our technology has been upgraded since then, with more sensitive, albeit efficient, transformers which are now more likely to be destroyed by a massive solar flare. The M9 flare is less powerful than the strongest class of flare-the “X.” The X-flare could be extremely disastrous for our technology reliant culture in ways that we don’t even know. In 1859 (obviously before electronics) there was a storm- “The Carrington Event,” that left so much current in the air that telegraphs ran without batteries. The National Academies of Science believes that a similar storm would cause $1 trillion in damage to our electrical infrastructure. Last year there were several X-class flares that caused minor disruptions to electrical grids and computer systems, but as the graph shows, we weren’t even in our strongest peak of the solar storm cycle.