At least the end of civilization will have a nice light show.
Having been a teen during the death throes of the cold war, sometimes I miss apocalyptic visions and doomsday scenarios. Well, it seems we have no shortage lately. Yeah, global economic collapse. Whatever. And that new Internet worm scheduled for April 1st? Frankly, I’m more worried about the day that Bill Gates activates the mysterious trillions of lines of code in Windows that allows him to take over the world. No, we have a much greater catastrophe awaiting us. Remember the Northeast Blackout of 2003? That was like your porch light burning out compared to the civilization-ending effects of the inevitable space storm coming our way. This New Scientist article suggests that after briefly being enthralled with being able to see the aurora borealis over the equator, it’ll be less than a year before millions of Americans will be dead and the nation’s infrastructure will be in tatters. The World Bank will declare the U.S. a developing nation. All because of the electrical effects of a Solar Superstorm. Although that New Scientist piece sounds a bit melodramatic, the scenarios are drawn directly from a NASA report on the subject. On a positive note, it should be pretty to look at.