Ars Technica: A bad solar storm could cause an “Internet apocalypse”

Ars Technica: A bad solar storm could cause an “Internet apocalypse”. “Scientists have known for decades that an extreme solar storm, or coronal mass ejection, could damage electrical grids and potentially cause prolonged blackouts. The repercussions would be felt everywhere from global supply chains and transportation to Internet and GPS access. Less examined until now, though, is the impact such a solar emission could have on Internet infrastructure specifically. New research shows that the failures could be catastrophic, particularly for the undersea cables that underpin the global Internet.”

Eos: Preserving a 45-Year Record of Sunspots

Eos: Preserving a 45-Year Record of Sunspots. “In 1964, the late solar researcher Patrick McIntosh launched an ambitious effort to track sunspots—relatively cool, dark blotches on the Sun caused by disturbances in the star’s magnetic field. He traced sunspots and other solar surface features from daily photographs, creating a map of the full Sun approximately every 27 days. This led to important advances in the prediction of solar flares and helped to reveal the large-scale organization of the Sun’s magnetic field. Now scientists are working to preserve and digitize McIntosh’s project, a uniquely consistent record of solar activity over 45 years.”

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE)

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE). “Energetic eruptions of the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, may cause solar particle storms, which produce a large amount of charged energetic particles to the near-Earth environment. Solar particle storms pose a hazard to modern society, especially to space-borne technology. On Earth, we are protected by the atmosphere from the harmful effects of such storms. However, particles may occasionally have sufficient energy and intensity to produce notable effects in the atmosphere, even at the altitude of trans-polar airline routes. Passengers and crew may receive radiation doses significantly above the background level. Since the exposure of flying personnel to cosmic radiation is regarded as an occupational health problem (International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1991), it should be monitored. ”