By Scott Langill

Tornado On The Sun

The largest solar storm in five years threatens to disrupt flights and power lines this week. It pales in comparison to the tornado observed last month on the surface of the sun. The tornado was larger than Earth itself, had gusts up to 300,000 miles per hour, and it lasted 30 hours. But the thing to fret about is the Carrington Effect, named for the Solar Storm of September 1-2, 1859. Aurorae were seen worldwide (including in the Caribbean) and were so bright that people in the northeastern US could read a newspaper by the aurora’s light. Telegraph systems all over the world failed, some shocking telegraph operators and causing telegraph papers to catch fire. The UK Commons Defence Committee recently put the likelihood of a similar severe space weather event occurring over the next five years at “moderate to high”.

Tornado Season On The Sun?

Solar Storm of 1859

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