5.09.2009

Warning: Sunspot cycle beginning to rise

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090508/ap_on_sc/us_sci_space_weather
http://folk.uio.no/gardini/xraysun.jpg
When the sun sneezes it's Earth that gets sick. It's time for the sun to move into a busier period for sunspots, and while forecasters expect a relatively mild outbreak by historical standards, one major solar storm can cause havoc with satellites and electrical systems here.
Like hurricanes, a weak cycle refers to the number of storms, but it only takes one powerful storm to create chaos, said scientist Doug Biesecker of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's space weather prediction center.
[...]
The 1859 storm shorted out telegraph wires, causing fires in North America and Europe, sent readings of Earth's magnetic field soaring, and produced northern lights so bright that people read newspapers by their light.
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