Aliens, ETs and UFOs => Outer Space => Topic started by: Devious Viper on January 11, 2011, 12:49:09 PM

Title: Solar Maximum 2013
Post by: Devious Viper on January 11, 2011, 12:49:09 PM
Solar Cycle 24 will peak, they say, in May 2013 with a below-average number of sunspots.

Initially, researchers warned that it would be "the strongest since the historic maximum in 1958 in which the northern lights could be seen as far south as Rome, approximately 42° north of the equator..."

They've downgraded that now: 

"If our prediction is correct, Solar Cycle 24 will have a peak sunspot number of 90, the lowest of any cycle since 1928 when Solar Cycle 16 peaked at 78," says panel chairman Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

It is tempting to describe such a cycle as "weak" or "mild," but that could give the wrong impression. "Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather," points out Biesecker. "The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013."

The 1859 storm - known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare - electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused "only" $80 to 125 billion in damage.