Monday, August 08, 2011


Astronomers have noticed some new solar storms–we are heading into the peak of the twelve-year sunspot activity cycle in 2013–and such activity translates to possible problems with assorted electronics, ranging from satellite communications, phone, TV, GPS, to internet woes, to problems with anything that uses computer chips.

Might get a chance to see the Aurora if you have clear weather and are in the top half of the U.S., but aside from the light show, mostly the sleet of radiation is apt to screw things up in the world of electronica.

On the scale, this one doesn't rank all that high for severity. According to the article I read, the worst one in recent history was in 1859, when the only electric communication system was the telegraph. Stories about messages continuing to go after the batteries were unplugged, or wire melting down might be apocryphal, but still, these things have taken down electrical grids and messed up communications.

Maybe that's why my New Yorker app is giving me the spinning ball and not downloading this week's edition ...

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