Next really big solar storm could double its effect on U.S. East Coast


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❝ There’s a layer of 300 million-year-old rock under Interstate 95 that’s capable of killing the lights from Washington to Boston and beyond the next time the sun erupts in all its fury.

…A solar storm is now viewed as enough of a risk in fact that grid operators across North America are working on plans to respond to just such a disturbance. And a draft of a soon-to-be-published U.S. Geological Survey report pinpoints the Eastern Seaboard as one of the areas most in danger.

❝ That’s because this Paleozoic-era rock doesn’t let the energy from a major geomagnetic storm — a once-in-a-100-years kind of event — pass through it but instead acts as a backstop that sends the surge back up above the ground for a second shot at causing mayhem…

Through a stroke of bad luck, the worst of these rocks basically traces the path of I-95 from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, Maine, passing through Washington, New York and Boston along the way.

Yet another reason I should be happy about leaving the Northeast for the Southwest. Though there’s an extinct volcano across the valley that could be pretty scary under the wrong conditions.

2 thoughts on “Next really big solar storm could double its effect on U.S. East Coast

  1. Nightmare fuel says:

    “Every once in a while, the Sun gets restless and spews solar material out into space at incredibly high speeds. These events, coronal mass ejections, follow solar flares and result in what we experience on Earth as a solar storm. As LiveScience reports, a new investigation into a particularly brutal solar storm back in 1972 has revealed just how devastating such an event can be, and explains how that particular event had explosive consequences here on Earth. (BGR 11/12/18) https://bgr.com/2018/11/12/solar-flare-mines-vietnam-war-navy/ “The research, which was published in the journal Space Weather, sheds some light on a little-reported side effect of a solar storm that hit the Earth on August 4th, 1972. The paper explains that when the solar ejecta reached Earth, it actually caused bombs to spontaneously explode.”
    See “On the Little‐Known Consequences of the 4 August 1972 Ultra‐Fast Coronal Mass Ejecta: Facts, Commentary, and Call to Action.” American Geophysical Union (10/25/18) https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018SW002024
    Also “The solar storm of 2012 that almost sent us back to a post-apocalyptic Stone Age” https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/186805-the-solar-storm-of-2012-that-almost-sent-us-back-to-a-post-apocalyptic-stone-age …on July 23, 2012, the sun “kicked out one of the largest solar flares and coronal mass ejections ever recorded. And it missed Earth by a whisker. “If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker, who led the research into the massive solar storm.

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