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Protect against coronal mass ejections threats

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Every eleven years, the sun is in a cycle building toward its time when it is more active called its "solar max." Many Americans are not aware of the threat this can be to their way of life.

The most powerful sun eruption of 2014 and one of the strongest of the current solar cycle occurred on February 24th and was captured on video by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The massive X4.9-class flare erupted from the active sunspot AR1990.

Nasa predicted that the current solar max would be between 2013 and 2014. There would be more solar storms, more solar electromagnetic radiation, and eruptions of supercharged protons called solar flares or coronal mass ejections.

Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are balls of plasma emitted by the sun that release energy seen as auroras on earth. There has been a 1,850 percent increase in sunspot activity since the early 1940s as compared to the past 1,200 years combined. As beautiful as CMEs are, a major effect is they can overload the major power lines, knocking out power grids and causing blackouts like the one affecting millions of Canadians in 1989 within 90 seconds.

Other effects of CMEs on the earth are they:

  • expose aircraft travelers over the poles to radiation since the charged particles get funneled down to the earth's poles
  • endanger astronauts with spacecraft operational anomalies
  • cause corrosion of oil and gas pipelines
  • degrade solar arrays
  • jam navigation signals from Global Positioning System satellites
  • at worst, damage critical electronics; at least, cause static in cell phones
  • jam high-frequency radio communications
  • cause other unexpected issues with electronics
  • blind optical systems like imagers and star trackers.

It has been argued that CMEs are more of a threat to the United States than nuclear EMP devices. Anyone living in the Maximum Electronic Destruction (MED) of an NEMP could not protect their electronic devices. But there are some protections that could help those outside the NEMP MED as well as against CMEs:

  • a portable gas powered generator stored in a Faraday Cage
  • a whole building surge protector between the electric service meter and the circuit breaker panel
  • plugging individual electronics into a surge protector and encouraging neighbors to do the same
  • telling your congressional representative to pass legislation forcing power companies to take steps to protect the national power grid
  • joining EMPact America.

The U.S. Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse predicts 60 to 80 percent of the population would die within the first year following total power grid failure.

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