Solar storms could disrupt satellite communications and electronics this week

4 Aug 11 – “The magnetic storm that is soon to develop probably will be in the moderate to strong level,” said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at the Space Weather Prediction Center, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Solar storms this week could affect communications and global positioning system (GPS) satellites, said Kunches.

Major disruptions from solar activity are rare but can be serious.

In 1989, a solar storm took down Quebec’s power grid, leaving about six million people without power for several hours.

The largest disruption ever recorded was in 1859 when a solar storm, called the Carrington Event, hit telegraph offices around the world.

“Some telegraph operators reported electric shocks,” says this article on Reuters. “Papers caught fire. And many telegraph systems continued to send and receive signals even after operators disconnected batteries.”

“A storm of similar magnitude today could cause up to $2 trillion in damage globally, according to a 2008 report by the National Research Council.”

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Thanks to Laurel for this link

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