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http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2008/06...

"Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted."

I was doing some science reading and came across mention of the "Carrington Flare" in 1859. The description of some of the effects are what's quoted above. Smaller events have occurred since then but none even close to the size of that one in 1859.

I was going to write a lot more (and did for my blog) but I'll keep it brief here. Basically, everything we do today relies on equipment that would probably stop functioning in an event of that magnitude. I haven't heard or read anything about what the governments of various countries would do if it happened but given the fact that pretty much nothing would move (including money), an event like this could be far worse than the Great Depression.

Sorry to be a downer on this fine Thursday but I thought this was interesting reading and that METARites would be the most interested.

Calabogie
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