The Carrington Event

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On this day in 1859 (and on the day before) one of the largest geomagnetic solar storms ever recorded struck Earth. The Aurora Borealis was seen as far south as the Caribbean. Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed. In the Pacific Northwest, the aurora was so bright that people could read a newspaper at night by its light. According to calculations by insurers Lloyd’s of London and risk assessor AER, if a storm of the same magnitude struck the US now, it would cause up to $2.6 trillion worth of damage. The storm is known as the Carrington event after the British astronomer, Richard Carrington, who recorded the storm’s genesis as a sunspot on 28 August. Source: Physics Today

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