Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

Solar Superstorm and Asteroid 2012 DA14

SunwikiAnother end of the world scenario hoves into view – not
quite Armageddon but one which will cause much inconvenience.

The warnings of a
solar superstorm are particularly relevant today.

They occur every hundred years or so and the last one was back in 1859. The world was in gas-light
then, and industry was powered by steam.

There was no telephone network, cellular or otherwise,
and the only satellite in orbit was the Moon.

So no aircraft, no GPS, no computers, no internet, and no
electricity, ergo no power stations.

Yes, solar superstorms happened in the
past, but it would merely have been a storm in a teacup.

It's not unreasonable to assume that the Sun is responsible
for climate change, and whilst there is a case to blame mankind for it, it's
equally fair to believe that it's all the Sun's fault.

If the systems fail and the grids blow out they could be
down for months. For an all too brief time we could experience what life was
like in the 19th century. Indeed the Sun will achieve what thousands of
computer hackers attempt on a daily basis – technological meltdown.

It would be interesting to see how the IT generation copes.
What will they do without Facebook and Twitter? Their smartphones would be made
redundant – no more instant pics or videos to upload. No more inane chat. No
more 24 hour news stations pleading for photos – and no more digital tv and
radio stations. No more Bardiness. At a stroke the internet would stop, and we
would wake up in the morning staring at a blank computer screen.

It reminds me of a Hubpage I made about it once.

At a stroke the Sun will change our lives – albeit for just
a short time, but maybe just long enough to reevaluate how we behave. We have a
tendency to take things for granted – just like we always expect the Sun to be
there every day without a single thought to it. There's a reason why ancient
civilisations worshipped the Sun – they knew it was much more than a shining
orb in the sky. We know more than they did, but they probably appreciated it
much more.

As it's extremely likely that this solar event will happen,
we don't know when, but by all accounts we'll only get 30 minutes’ notice.

I'm not suggesting we all become "doomsday preppers"
but some basic sensible precautions would be wise. Here's my baker's dozen to
get through it:

1. Stock up on candles.

2. Get some cash out (ATM's won't work and shops won’t
accept plastic)

3. Invest in a camper-gas portable cooker (electric ones won't
work).

4. Stock up on charcoal to fuel the BBQ

5. Service the bicycle – fuel at the pumps will cease.

6. Stock up on batteries – presumably they will work

7. Don't hoard petrol – only Conservative ministers suggest otherwise and that's a dangerous thing to do – just make sure you have plenty of
petrol in the car, because with 30 minutes notice there will be a rush at the
pumps and you can do a lot more in that time without spending it queuing with stressed out drivers.

8. Dig out the winter wear (in case it happens between
October and March)

9. See the Pyramids now if you haven't already (or just wait
until it's all over)

10. Go to Scotland – the Aurora Borealis will be fantastic

11. Get a clockwork radio (there's bound to be some stations
functioning on steampunk)

12. Lock your doors – American's believe "The Walking
Dead"
is a factual drama so better safe than sorry.

13. Don't panic – keep calm, and enjoy the fact that in your
lifetime peace descended over the earth.

Finally, if that's not enough to worry about, there's an
asteroid 2012 DA14 heading our way on February 15th, which is regarded as a "close
encounter" and it will pass within 17,000 miles (one of a million out
there and many even bigger). It was discovered by a Spanish dentist (pull the other
one I hear you say!)

Still the laws of physics dictate that it will pass by
harmlessly. It was 1908 when a similar one hit a remote part of Russia. As NASA
has tabs on only 1% we are likely to hear a lot more of these in the near
future.

The good news is that of the 100 regarded as "planet
killers"
 (those that are big enough to wipe us out) NASA are aware of
90%. Great, but what about the remaining 10%?

Let’s hope one doesn't show up during the "solar
superstorm"
blackout – otherwise my checklist is going to be rendered
useless.

In just such an event here is my revised "Baker's
Dozen":

  1. See #13.

 

Related articles

NASA: Asteroid Will Get Close To Earth
Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Fly by Earth Feb 15: Closest Known Approach to Earth
Nasa cannot monitor most potentially devastating asteroids
Close Shave: Asteroid To Buzz Earth Next Week
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February 8, 2013 - Posted by | Current Affairs, Education, facebook, History, Humour, Religion, Science, The Walking Dead | , , , ,

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