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How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth July 24, 2014

Posted by Al Philipson in Science and Science Fiction news.
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SolarStormOn July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years….

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA….

A CME double whammy of this potency striking Earth would likely cripple satellite communications and could severely damage the power grid.

Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket.  Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.

For the complete story, go to the WaPo article.

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