Solar Storms Pose A Major Threat To US Infrastructures - New York News

Solar Storms Pose A Major Threat To US Infrastructures

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Cranford, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Solar storms have the potential to wipe out our power grid anywhere from two-weeks to two-years according to a new report.

Members of the Amateur Astronomers, Inc. are extremely concerned about the potential damages solar storms can have on the U.S. infrastructure. The group gathers at the Sperry Observatory in Cranford, New Jersey where two of the largest amateur telescopes on the east coast reside in order to monitor the sun and star activity.

Amateur Astronomer Jim Nordhausen explains how these massive telescopes work.

“It looks at only one specific wavelength of light, the hydrogen alpha band admitted by hydrogen when it changes states,” he explained.

In the last week, NASA has even documented huge solar flares happening in our atmosphere. Another Amateur Astronomer, Clif Ashcraft, explained exactly what a solar flare is and how it can affect us.

“It’s where the magnetic field of the sun comes to the surface and where they get twisted up and occasionally break and reconnect. And the energy released when that happens is on the order of 160 billion megatons of TNT,” he said.

While we have never experienced a massive solar storm like scientists are predicting, we did experience a minor solar flare in 1989 which knocked out power in Quebec, Canada and also affected New Jersey’s Salem Nuclear Power Plant by destroying its major transformer.

To better prepare for a solar storm, regulators can put measures in place at our power grid stations which is something that both astronomers and NASA say is extremely important.

Watch Chasing New Jersey weeknights at 10pm on My9 and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

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