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Could a ‘Solar Maximum’ event spark food riots and meltdowns? (One respected scientist says ‘yes!’)
The Blaze ^ | November 25, 2012 | Mike Opelka

Posted on 11/25/2012 10:18:27 PM PST by cruise_missile

If Earth is struck by a large solar flare, some in the scientific community believe:

The planet will be hit with a widespread loss of power. Air travel would be grounded. Nuclear plants would be crippled and without sufficient back-up power, dozens could meltdown. Satellites would be disabled, causing a serious loss of communication in all areas (military and civilian). Food and medicine would be in short supply, setting up the potential for food riots within days of an outage.

The same scientists who believe that a large solar strike could lead to a very rapid societal breakdown say that steps to avoid the problem are available and at a relatively low cost to all of us. What is a “relatively low cost?” They estimate the amount of money needed to insulate the power grid (and ourselves) from trouble to be less than one dollar per American. But Congress said “no” to their proposal.

Is there really cause for concern?

Over the next fourteen months Earth will be on high alert for a huge burst of electromagnetic energy from the sun. This powerful pulse is known as a “Solar Maximum” – an event that could cause catastrophic damage to power grids and communications systems. The peak time for the next big flare is sometime between now and the end of 2013. This possibility has scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on alert. Tom Bogdan, the director of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, is monitoring the situation as closely as possible.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; Technical; Testing
KEYWORDS: flare; solar; solarstorm; sun
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1 posted on 11/25/2012 10:18:43 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: cruise_missile
The peak time for the next big flare is sometime between now and the end of 2013.

I predict December 21.

(Runs away)

2 posted on 11/25/2012 10:20:20 PM PST by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: cruise_missile

Well if Chuck Schumer can trigger a series of bank failures with one comment to the press, so I don’t see why not.


3 posted on 11/25/2012 10:27:56 PM PST by SpaceBar
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To: SIDENET

Damn Mayans.

:-p


4 posted on 11/25/2012 10:33:01 PM PST by VitacoreVision
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To: cruise_missile
Gonna need some of this...


5 posted on 11/25/2012 10:55:30 PM PST by ejonesie22 (8/30/10, the day Truth won.)
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To: cruise_missile
Patrick Geryl expects the planetary line-up to match the 1859 Carrington event during the time span from 12-14-2012 to 12-22-2012. He has a couple papers in PDF form as well as movies explaining his expectations.

If it is another Carrington type event, we have a lot more electrical wire capture area today compared to 1859. Losing electrical power will be the long term bad news. The immediate impact may be buildings igniting as the wiring catches fire. The telegraph offices caught fire in 1859. Imagine fires and no water pressure to put them out in places where water pressure is derived from electric pumps.

6 posted on 11/25/2012 10:55:38 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: SIDENET

If you run west, time slows down. But eventually catches up.


7 posted on 11/25/2012 11:31:58 PM PST by MaxMax
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To: cruise_missile

What kind of science or “science”? At first blush if I had to ask scientists at all, I’d ask sociologists to address that question.


8 posted on 11/25/2012 11:36:23 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: Myrddin

Was there anyone with enough electrical awareness during that event to try to get induced voltage readings off of the lines? These were battery powered, and not constructed to withstand electrical potentials much higher than the batteries’. Modern wiring and insulation practices would survive better, although current surges in unshielded lines could well pop breakers.


9 posted on 11/25/2012 11:42:28 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: SIDENET

It happened before and could easily happen again which is another reason why some people with the means have been building underground shelters in order to protect themselves from the potent radiation. As the story goes Bill Gates is to be one of them. For a more detailed explanation you may want to go to the suggested web-sites.

http://www.viewzone2.com/endtime.html

http://www.viewzone2.com/endtime2x.html


10 posted on 11/25/2012 11:48:28 PM PST by saintgermaine
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To: Myrddin

Geryl has been very accurate of late.


11 posted on 11/25/2012 11:49:00 PM PST by Rich21IE
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To: Rich21IE

Is there some kind of physics explanation by which we would expect a certain “planetary line up” to induce the sun to shoot flares Earth’s way? Without that it sounds too much like astrology.


12 posted on 11/25/2012 11:51:00 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Everything I’ve been reading and hearing indicates a planetary line up has nothing to do with it. The sun has a natural cycle. It goes from a long period of relative quiet to one of increasing solar flare activity ending with a climax of a high frequency of sunspot/solar flare activity called the solar maximum. The sun acts like a shot gun and these flares usually blast out into nothingness but, occasionally, the earth will take a direct hit. Last “near” direct hit was in something like 1979 which hit Canada, taking down the grid around Toronto. It really isn’t a question of “if” the earth will take another direct hit, its a question of when. But.......that doesn’t mean we’ll get hit during the time of this solar maximum; could happen next cycle. Its all quite random.


13 posted on 11/25/2012 11:57:29 PM PST by Rich21IE
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To: Rich21IE

Yes, I believe that’s the general understanding. Any influence of planets upon the sun, as by tidal forces, is way weaker than whatever mighty internal oscillation makes the sun break out in spots every 11 years or so, and can’t “steer” the spots or the manner or direction in which they generate flares.

Things could get interesting but I still doubt that flares could induce potentials high enough to overcome the insulation on most high tension lines. They are more likely to pop breakers with current surges and do no permanent harm.


14 posted on 11/26/2012 12:02:38 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Well, I’m certainly no electrician and I’m unclear what you mean about high tension lines. When I look at the high power transmission lines in my area, they appear bare, i.e., silvery. My friends talk about the need to “shield” electronic devices by encasing them in something like a metal shipping container situated on rubber feet so the container isn’t grounded. Its my understanding that the newest Navy ships are similarly sheilded but thats because they’re designed to survive an EMP pulse that would precede a nuke blast.


15 posted on 11/26/2012 12:08:23 AM PST by Rich21IE
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To: Rich21IE

“Tension” and voltage are equivalent terms, with voltage more quantitative and tension more qualitative in connotation. Electricity as delivered by the utility to your house is not distributed at the same voltage level at which it will ultimately arrive. It goes out at levels of tens or hundreds of thousands of volts for cross-country distribution, which is stepped down to a few thousand volts for neighborhood distribution, then to a few hundred volts for buildings.

Certainly, good shielding practices can harden systems to flare-induced electrical surges. The shield gets the surge, but whatever is within the shield does not.


16 posted on 11/26/2012 12:15:38 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Go to post number 10 and look up the suggested websites.


17 posted on 11/26/2012 12:23:05 AM PST by saintgermaine
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To: saintgermaine

this ole high tech red neck got a college edumacation in electrickeral injuneering. ya can’t pull a swift one on him.


18 posted on 11/26/2012 12:27:38 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: SIDENET

I am also getting the impression this Christmas for lack of a better word will be “different” globally.

Just a small observation in the last two days the 3G network has been very sporadic here in Alaska, cell outages lasting from less than an hour are happening all through the last couple of days. And there has been no news released as per why by anyone, I have tried several cell phones and they too are also out when mine is so its not just one carrier.

And my Dish Network satellite movie downloads are breaking up and I use a 2 meter dish from yesr before while a pizza pan sized one is sold nowadays. Something is happening.


19 posted on 11/26/2012 12:59:25 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: cruise_missile
So far this current solar cycle maximum appears to be somewhat of a dud. Nothing near the last one and we all survived it just fine.
20 posted on 11/26/2012 1:20:38 AM PST by Spitzensparkin1 (Arrest and deport all illegal aliens. Americans demand those jobs back! Whooorah, Arizona!)
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To: Spitzensparkin1

The more important part to your chart, imho, is that the decreasing sunspots also are indicators of a cooling period for the earth.

HOWEVER - the number of sunspots doesn’t affect the STRENGTH of a CME (coronal mass ejection) from what I understand - but it does increase the likely-hood of a big one, and also increases the chance that it might be headed in our direction. I believe earlier this year their was a very large flare - but headed away from us.


21 posted on 11/26/2012 1:26:58 AM PST by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: Spitzensparkin1

The following is a short article about this year’s past solar flares. It must have been the late October one that I had hoped to see the Northern Lights, but no such luck so close to the city.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/10/23/sun-unleashes-seventh-x-class-flare-of-2012

Sun Unleashes Seventh X-Class Flare of 2012

The sun is nearing its most active period, according to NASA scientists.


22 posted on 11/26/2012 1:30:40 AM PST by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: saintgermaine

“As the story goes Bill Gates is to be one of them.”

Bill Gates has his home (well, main home I suppose) on the shores of Lake Washington near Seattle. Much of it IS built into the hillside. To be more heating efficient, lower profile, etc. so they said. I suppose he may have been thinking of a CME as well.

However, they now think that a large rupture of the Seattle Fault that runs underneath Lake Washington could cause a tsunami in the lake (and Puget Sound). The runnup of water in the lake would inundate Gate’s home as it is fairly low on the hillside.

Well, like Grandma said - “When its your time to go - its your time to go.”


23 posted on 11/26/2012 1:37:04 AM PST by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: cruise_missile

The current prediction model for Solar Cycle 24 gives a smoothed sunspot number maximum of about 90 at its peak in May of 2013. This current prediction makes this the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years.

The resulting low numbers of sunspots do not necessarily mean weaker solar flares, just less of them probably occurring. There is always a chance of an Earth directed X class flare disrupting the power grid and causing damage to communications satellites, but less of a chance of one during a weak solar maximum like this one is shaping up to be.


24 posted on 11/26/2012 1:41:21 AM PST by Spitzensparkin1 (Arrest and deport all illegal aliens. Americans demand those jobs back! Whooorah, Arizona!)
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To: cruise_missile

I heard on Coast to Coast that it would only cost us 5 billion dollars to harden our electrical grid in the right places and to have a store of essential transformers that used to be made in USA but are now made in China etc. A grid meltdown will blow many transformers that take a while to build especially when the electric is out and the whole world is clamoring for them. So having a reserve of these would help get the grid back up lot sooner.

This would also be very helpful if we are hit with an EMP attack. Seeing how the USG pisses away billions each day it it treasonous not to have a store of these transformers.


25 posted on 11/26/2012 1:56:31 AM PST by dennisw ( The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: 21twelve

Good points, and yes we were missed by one very large CME earlier this year. As to when our luck will run out is anyone’s guess. It is not if but when.

Eventually we will get hit with a large X-class flare and resulting Coronal Mass Ejection. We should be preparing for it, on a national level, to protect the power grid, but we are not. We are also just as vulnerable to an EMP attack which worries me more.


26 posted on 11/26/2012 1:57:19 AM PST by Spitzensparkin1 (Arrest and deport all illegal aliens. Americans demand those jobs back! Whooorah, Arizona!)
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To: 21twelve; Spitzensparkin1
The sunspot number was 106 at the time of the Carriington Event: http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/greenwch/spot_num.txt which is not a whole lot higher than where we are at. I think such strong events are uncorrelated to the strength of the solar cycle although they will appear around the peak.
27 posted on 11/26/2012 2:23:26 AM PST by palmer (Jim, please bill me 50 cents for this completely useless post)
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To: sneakers

bttt


28 posted on 11/26/2012 2:40:07 AM PST by sneakers (Go Sheriff Joe!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

http://www.ips.gov.au/Educational/1/3/12

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/sun_darkness.html


29 posted on 11/26/2012 2:47:48 AM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: cruise_missile

Very real, this book woke me up (and scared me) a couple of years ago.
One Second After

http://www.amazon.com/One-Second-After-William-Forstchen/dp/0765356864/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353926858&sr=1-1&keywords=one+second+after


30 posted on 11/26/2012 2:53:09 AM PST by vanilla swirl (searching for something meaningful to say)
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To: cruise_missile

In other words, heavily Democratic precincts would be devastated. That’s just awful.


31 posted on 11/26/2012 3:03:56 AM PST by gotribe
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Certainly, good shielding practices can harden systems to flare-induced electrical surges. The shield gets the surge, but whatever is within the shield does not.

Wouldn't buried lines be protected from any kind of solar flare? All the lines in my neighborhood are buried.

32 posted on 11/26/2012 3:52:12 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: Spitzensparkin1

Does the sun always have that large cool dark area on the top?


33 posted on 11/26/2012 3:57:01 AM PST by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: vanilla swirl

I read it too. Very sobering book. I never realized what the consequences would be if the power grid went down for the long term. I can’t say we’re ready if it happened, but we can get by for awhile. We’ve prepared for short-term emergencies, but after that....


34 posted on 11/26/2012 4:05:47 AM PST by sneakers (Go Sheriff Joe!)
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To: exDemMom
"All the lines in my neighborhood are buried."

Neighborhood distribution lines are not long enough to be affected (much). The large, high-voltage transformers (greater than 110,000 volts) at either end of long grid runs will be the victims of solar flares. When they melt down, the extensive areas served by them with go without power until they are replaced. There are spares but not enough. It will take at least 6 months to get new 500kV/230kV transformers from China as they are not made here anymore. In the meantime, the spares, if needed, will be allocated to "priority" areas, such as DC, NY, LA, and so on. Everyone else will do without until the new units arrive and are installed.

35 posted on 11/26/2012 4:08:38 AM PST by mikey_hates_everything
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To: vanilla swirl

I read it too. Very sobering book. I never realized what the consequences would be if the power grid went down for the long term. I can’t say we’re ready if it happened, but we can get by for awhile. We’ve prepared for short-term emergencies, but after that....


36 posted on 11/26/2012 4:20:03 AM PST by sneakers (Go Sheriff Joe!)
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To: cruise_missile

God only knows what the sun will do, and he is not talking.
That being said, I was monitoring the sun from age 14, back in the late 50s.
As a ham radio operator, interested in working DX (foreign countries), we lived and died by the 11 year sunspot cycle.
The late 50s was probably the greatest sunspot period in my
50+ years of activity.
I remember days/nights when the 15 meter band was open to contacts most anywhere in the world, and at the same time.
I also remember many periods of low sunspot activity when I would be hard pressed just to work anything outside of the states.

We should all keep in mind that we live or die by what the sun does.
Just one burp can be catastrophic for life on Earth.


37 posted on 11/26/2012 4:24:54 AM PST by AlexW
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To: Myrddin
Thanks to the normalcy bias etc, most folks think that human history has been a steady climb to greater levels of civilization and higher living standards.

Only in the broadest sense is this true. History is full of retrograde movements, some of them quite abrupt. Die-offs of half of populations in a decade or less have happened over and over. Sometimes entire tribes and peoples just plain go extinct. (Seen any Mohicans lately?)

We may be winding up for a big one. To beat my tired drum again, just for one example, if anything causes the EBT system to go down hard, our cities will explode in under a week.

Just a blast from the sun could send us over that ledge.

38 posted on 11/26/2012 4:39:22 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Is there some kind of physics explanation by which we would expect a certain “planetary line up” to induce the sun to shoot flares Earth’s way? Without that it sounds too much like astrology.

Exactly. There was a huge event a week or two ago but it was facing away from earth.

39 posted on 11/26/2012 5:00:20 AM PST by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks like Right-Wing extremism.)
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To: Travis McGee

I can just imagine the effects of a massive debit card failure all at once.

First off they won’t trust the news saying its temporary, maybe it will stay quiet for 24 hours but after that I truly think it will be riots over food, shoes, cellphones.

Now if I was head of a community I would announce that we have a facility chock full of emergency “free stuff” such as new Ipads, cellphones, designer shoes. Basically bling, but here is the kicker, its advertise to be exactly what it is, emergency free stuff for those that live off of trash.

And then when they swoop down on the warehouse and get inside we gas them unconscious and ship them out of town.

The riots won’t always be just food, its about getting something the poor doesnt have, something that better off folks have, the status symbol crap thats been pushed by the MSM.


40 posted on 11/26/2012 5:02:30 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: cruise_missile

later


41 posted on 11/26/2012 5:29:39 AM PST by quintr
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To: Eye of Unk
I just hope that it never is tested. But I fear it will be, and sooner rather than later.


42 posted on 11/26/2012 5:30:05 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Travis McGee

And Alaska is a “ghost” state, not important to anyone, a land where your votes don’t mean anything. Land where the needy just goes out and either shoots its own dinner, heats its home with pallets and works only during the summer, shopping is once a year when the PFD comes out.

I just described about what most rural Alaskans do.

We don’t really have either makers or takers, we make for ourselves and not the stupid, lazy morons who live on the dole.


43 posted on 11/26/2012 5:38:45 AM PST by Eye of Unk (A Civil Cold War in America is here, its already been declared.)
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To: cruise_missile

How often do we hear this. Last “solar event” was suppose to knock out power, etc., riots, cats and dogs sleeping together, but it never seems to have the effect they claim. If it happens, it happens. Not much I can do about it.


44 posted on 11/26/2012 5:44:21 AM PST by Thorliveshere
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To: Travis McGee

Is there any significance to the “EBT” icons on the map, or do they just generally correlate to the “bluer” areas?


45 posted on 11/26/2012 9:07:15 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: cruise_missile

This VERY respected solar watcher believes that Solar Max for this Solar Cycle 24 has already passed: http://www.solen.info/solar/ I agree with him.

Cycle 24 has been a very weak cycle, as predicted by about half of the solar science community but notably NOT by NASA, and well justified by theoretical work done by Russian and Finish solar scientists over the years. In addition, there is a very intriguing mechanism which may explain why: http://www.landscheidt.info/?q=node/50 though that is not the basis upon which the Russians and Finns have been working.


46 posted on 11/26/2012 9:10:15 AM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: mikey_hates_everything

I hate to disappoint you, but the high priority areas will all be in China, etc.


47 posted on 11/26/2012 9:21:07 AM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: TangoLimaSierra; HiTech RedNeck

That “huge event” a couple weeks ago was miniscule compared to the Carrington Event, and indeed was a factor of 20 smaller than an X-level event that affected Earth about 10 years ago -— and Ol’Sol is FAR less active now than it was then, and we are currently decreasing, NOT increasing, in activity.


48 posted on 11/26/2012 9:26:18 AM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: Spitzensparkin1

No way Cycle 24 will get to 90. That is hack Hathaway (and his discredited ‘expert’ solar panel at NASA) figure, but not close to reality. We are likely already past peak, at around a level of 66, and even 90 would be a mediocre cycle. See my post #46 for links.


49 posted on 11/26/2012 9:30:57 AM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
“Tension” and voltage are equivalent terms, with voltage more quantitative and tension more qualitative in connotation.

No. High Tension lines are literally installed under high tension, mechanical strain, to reduce sag between supports.

They tend to increase together as the higher voltage insulator supports get more and more expensive as the voltage goes up. So the economics of longer spans with corresponding tensions tends to go up with voltage. But water, road and other physicals constraints also justify higher tension and longer span construction.

50 posted on 11/26/2012 9:39:48 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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