- June 21, 2011: In Sept. 1859, on the eve of a below-average1 solar cycle, the sun unleashed one of the most powerful storms in centuries. The underlying flare was so unusual, researchers still aren't sure how to categorize it. The blast peppered Earth with the most energetic protons in half-a-millennium, induced electrical currents that set telegraph offices on fire, and sparked Northern Lights over Cuba and Hawaii.
This week, officials have gathered at the National Press Club in Washington DC to ask themselves a simple question: What if it happens again? Full story:
* 'Controlled' power cuts likely as Sun storm threatens national grid... US official: solar storms expected to peak in 2013 with potentially devastating effect... THERE'S A HOLE IN THE SUN!...Solar flares could paralyse Britain's power and communications, Liam Fox says...Discovery ( Aug 25, 2010): IS THE SUN EMITTING A MYSTERY PARTICLE?...LiveScience: Antarctica Experiment Discovers Puzzling Space Ray Pattern... National Geographic (November 19, 2008): "High-energy electrons captured over Antarctica could reveal the presence of a nearby but MYSTERIOUS ASTROPHYSICAL OBJECT that's bombarding Earth with cosmic rays... Scientists baffled by unusual upper atmosphere shrinkage... Scientists: solar activity could hit London 2012 Olympic Games: