Solar flares may pack a bigger punch
- URL to an article in CNN
Reminds me of a great short story by Larry Niven - Inconstant Moon. And, I
think Ben Bova had a story about a flare that destroyed half the Earth's
First few paragraphs
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- A new computer model suggests the next solar
cycle will be more active than the previous one, potentially spawning
magnetic storms that will be more disruptive to communication systems on Earth.
The next sunspot cycle will be between 30 percent to 50 percent more intense
than the last one, scientists said Monday.
The cycle will also begin a year later than expected, in late 2007 or early
2008, and peak around 2012, said Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for
Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
The new prediction is at odds with previous forecasts, which suggested that
the intensity of the next solar cycle would be measurably smaller.
Accurately predicting the intensity of the sunspot cycle, which occurs about
every 11 years, allows scientists to anticipate solar storms. They are caused
by solar flares, or giant eruptions that burst from the surface of the sun."
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