|What do you mean, "No signal?"|
On that date in 1859, a massive solar storm, known as the Carrington Event, took place. During the event, the Sun spit out a tremendous solar flare which made its impact felt on the Earth. Aurorae were seen as far south as Tampico, Mexico and in sub-Sahara Africa, while southern hemispheric auororae were seen as far north as New Guinea. Normally, these phenomena are restricted to the far northern and southern regions, so something of this magnitude must have been tremendous to see.
|The aurorae in their glory|
|Telegraph operators working on vulnerable equipment|
That might be a big mistake. We have seen what can happen during ice storms and hurricanes when power is knocked out to localized areas. And, we know for a fact that on July 23, 2012, a solar flare the size of the Carrington Event occurred, just missing the Earth. Had that event not missed our planet, we could have been looking at an event which could have caused up to $2.6 trillion in worldwide damages, and could have taken years to recover from.
|The solar flare of July 2012|
While the possibility of another Carrington Event is not huge, it does merit at least a little discussion among the disaster preparedness community.
Tom Iovino, Public Relations Strategist
Hillsborough County, Florida