The Carrington Event of 1859

Just before I read JJ's blog entry, I'd been directed to an article in The American Thinker, Pay Attention to a Warning from Newt Gingrich" (if Al Gore and Newt Gingrich were in a boat... uh, anyway I wouldn't want to be on it...)
"...a solar flare in March 1989 disrupted electric power transmission from the Hydro Québec generating station in Canada, blacking out most of the province and plunging 6 million people into darkness for 9 hours. Aurora-induced power surges even melted power transformers in New Jersey. ...miniscule compared to the Carrington Event [1859]... [In a similar event] landline and satellite communication links [could go] down, sensitive computer circuits [melt], and even electronics in cars and trucks [fail]."

Modern Survival Blog: Solar SuperStorm 1859 – It could happen again
"...much of the world was witnessing a massive and tremendously bright display of the aurora, even at latitudes in the tropics.... telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed while spraying out sparks from telegraph poles and igniting widespread fires."

"Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire. Some telegraph systems continued to send and receive messages despite having been disconnected from their power supplies." (Cue Weird Universe theme music.) "...occur approximately once per 500 years, with events at least one-fifth as large occurring several times per century."

I said the other day I remember how it was said it took the ICBMs 19 minutes to get from Russia to the USA? The Carrington Event took just 17 minutes from eruption to hitting us (a first blast having "cleared the way").

Imagine, 17 minutes from anytime, the entire power grid down for over a year, but who cares, your computer melted anyway. Got those DVD backups of everything? 8O

tl; even I dr