Solar flares can make your Toilet stop working. In fact this is the conclusion of a NASA funded study done by the National Academy of Sciences under the heading Severe Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. The 132 page report explains how a solar flare can impact today’s high tech society followed by a severe geomagnetic storm. Nothing can be immune to the effects of the forces of nature from deep space, not even the water in the bathroom.
The first to be hit will be the power grids. Ground Currents which are induced in the instance of geomagnetic storms is capable of melting the copper elements in the transformers, the most essential components in any power grid system. The problem is further aggravated by sprawling power lines act like antennas, picking up the currents. Remember how whole Quebec and its 9 million residents were without power for 9 hours.
The interconnectedness of the power grid makes them even more vulnerable. Power is routed and re-routed as per convenience and ease. This is good economically but can turn out to be the Achilles heel in the event of a solar storm.
Just to look at the loss, such a Solar Flare can have, John Kappenmann of the Metatech Corporation studied in detail the great geomagnetic storm of May 1921. 130 million people will be without power. Water distribution severely affected, perishable goods and medicines lost within 24 hours, no Air-conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply.
The dynamic sun is giving a great show these days. The sun started by firing off a medium-strength flare on Tuesday (Sept. 9).It followed this with an Earth-directed X-class flare — the most powerful type — on Wednesday evening (Sept. 10).The storms erupted from a sunspot known as Active Region 2158.