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The Sky at Night, Coronal Mass Ejections , 12th Aug

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Just caught up with The Sky at Night from Sunday 12th Aug.  Subject Coronal Mass Ejections from the Sun.

Must admit I am slightly disappointed, if I am even allowed to criticise such a National Instution. ?

First, the episode subtitle, "Death Star"      . . . Groan.

Then the intro from Maggie A-P included the statement that  a CME's "could devastate our technological world . . "

She said something similar at the end. IMHO neither statement was backed up by the rest of the episode.

The boffins suggested some unquantified damage to power grids & satellites "which might have hardening or redundancies"

So I was  left with the impression of some Millenium Bug style media hype. Would definitley be great aurorae though.

What do you  think?

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A powerful, on-target CME could definitely do a lot of damage, based on:

1. The actual damage done by much smaller CMEs in the past

2. The total lack of preparation for such an event

Edited by Ags

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Thought it was a little bit of TV click baiting. Sure, there might be some damage in a worst case scenario, but not earth shattering as they suggested it might be in the premise of the show. 

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Great images. I reckon that one probably caused the global dust storm on Mars.?

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I agree that there was some tabloid headlines thrown in but lots of the content was more interesting than many episodes I have watched in recent years.

Quite ironic that the best episode of Sky at Night for quite some time was about Solar observation :lol: 

  • Haha 2

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Night is the safest time for solar observing.

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There was a CME in the 8th century that made Carrington look like a hichough. Was enough to leave a spike in the C14 signal.

One of those could knock us back to pre-industrial levels.

Remember that we're less resiliant than pre-technological times, we're so dependant on tech (Even the power grid) that could be trashed by a big CME.

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