This is the year (2013) when our sun should be at its maximum activity during its 11 year cycle and the sun could produce some huge super flares. So, what does that mean to us? Well, that depends on whether we take a direct hit, a glancing blow or a complete miss. A direct hit could be disastrous, especially to the power grid and comunications. The man made satellites that circle our Earth and used for communications, defense, and scientific study of our earth and the universe will take the hardest and the first hit. Dang, there goes my satellite TV which I surely do love.
There have been a lot of super flares but thank goodness not many of them have hit the Earth. The last major hit that that Earth took was back in 1859 and was predicted by Richard Carrington. Now, all such events are called Carrington Events in his honor. Back then in 1859 there was not near as much stuff vulnerable to a flare. But they did have telegraph and it sure did a job on it by shocking the operators and even set the telegraph paper on fire. The keys kept clicking even when the battery connections were disconected.
Every now and then, Mother Nature has to show us that we are really not in charge and that we are very, very vulnerable to the ravages and whims of the vast universe. Although we may be but tiny specs in the eye of nature and the universe, you all are very huge in my life, so you all have a great day, you hear?