This year’s Solar Maximum is shaping up to be a lively one. Will we live to see a Carrington Event, and what will that mean for our civilization?
The MSM will tell you all sorts of crazy things. My MSM feed screamed about a “big black hole” opening up in the sun and spewing out a planet-cooking solar flare. So what are the facts? Spaceweather.com sums up the facts about the maximum without sensationalism:
SOLAR WIND, INCOMING (UPDATED): A minor stream of solar wind is heading for Earth. ETA: March 31st. The gaseous material is flowing from a relatively small hole in the sun’s atmosphere, now facing our planet. Arctic auroras are likely when the solar wind arrives. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.
ANOTHER X-CLASS SOLAR FLARE: This is becoming routine. The sun just produced another X-class solar flare, the 7th of 2023. The X1.2-category explosion came from sunspot AR3256 near the sun’s southwestern limb:
Radiation from the flare ionized the top of Earth’s atmosphere, causing a strong shortwave radio blackout over southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Ham radio operators may have noticed loss of signal and other propagation effects below 30 MHz for as much as an hour after the peak of the flare (March 29th @ 0233 UT).
A faint CME left the sun after the explosion. NOAA analysts have determined that it will miss Earth–no impact.
The real significance of this flare may be the number “7.” That’s the total number of X-flares in all of 2022. With today’s flare, the sun has already matched that total in 2023–and it’s only March.
This is yet another sign that Solar Cycle 25 is rapidly intensifying. If the trend continues, we could have nearly 30 X-flares by the end of 2023, an order-of-magnitude greater activity than only two years ago. Official forecasts are calling for Solar Maximum to arrive in 2024 or 2025. If so, there is plenty of time for the solar cycle to intensify even more; X-flares could become routine, indeed. Solar flare alerts: SMS Text.
So what is this “Carrington Event” we keep hearing about, and what happened. Will it happen again?
Solar storms: more dangerous than you think. Can we survive another Carrington Event?
And I couldn’t help being reminded of this old classic tune with a most appropriate video. Maybe we’ve reached a point of societal insanity where the time has come for a solar-induced apocalypse…?