With a potentially large effect on power systems and communications, the solar max is something that’s bound to affect us all.
• This year marks the high point in the sun’s 11-year magnetic activity cycle, and it may be hard to ignore. The Hoover-Price Planetarium at the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is presenting “Solar Max” to give earthlings a look at just what the sun’s fiery actions might mean for our weather, technology and our skies.
• The program will focus on several facets of the solar maximum, which is the peak of the sun’s activity. During this time, the sun “acts up” with an abundance of sunspots, solar flares and ejections of materials, which could direct charged materials into earth’s magnetic field. That would be bad news if it disrupts our technology and communications, but also it could produce dynamic views of the colorful Northern Lights over Ohio, which would be a very rare treat, says Hoover-Price Planetarium Director David Richards. “It’s going to be very interesting for some of us and very annoying for others,” he said.
• “Solar Max” will explore the potential effects of the solar activity on our electricity and communications systems, with a look at the power grid, which Richards says could be problematic if the current overwhelms the outdated system and creates major power outages. It also takes a look at satellite-driven technology, which could take a hit if satellites get blown up or blown out of order. “Part of it is conjecture,” Richards says, because today’s technology is so much more advanced than what existed during the most-recent solar max. Still, “People should be aware something is happening,” he says.
With a potentially large effect on power systems and communications, the solar max is something that’s bound to affect us all. This program is a way to get all the facts before it happens.