Solar storms are brewing some 93 million miles away, according to National Geographic, and if one of them hits Earth, it has the potential to bring serious electrical and communication failures.
Could this be Armageddon?
The U.S. government is warning users of satellite, telecommunications, and electric equipment to prepare for possible disruptions over the next few days. This means that communications and power could be knocked out, and even GPS scrambled for weeks or months.
Solar storms in the past brought major and serious disruptions. In a huge solar storm back in 1859, telegraph offices worldwide were hit, some telegraph operators reported electric shocks, the telegraph systems malfunctioned and even paper caught on fire. In 1989, six million people in Quebec, Canada were left without power for several hours when a solar storm took down a power grid.
According to a report by the National Research Council in 2008, a solar storm similar to the ones in the past could cause up to $2 trillion dollars in damage across the globe today.
Space weather scientist Joseph Kunches of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects that the magnetic storm will be "moderate to strong level."
However, Kunches doesn't think this week's solar storms "will be anywhere near that" of causing $2 trillion damage.
Nevertheless, be prepared for possible electric or communications disruptions. Also be on the watch for a possible aurora -a natural light display in Arctic and Antarctic skies caused by charged particles colliding with atoms in high altitude atmosphere. The aurora, if it is produced, will be visible as far south as Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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