As Maxwell Smart would have said, “Missed us by *that* much!”
From UC BERKELEY — Earth dodged a huge magnetic bullet from the sun on July 23, 2012.
According to University of California, Berkeley, and Chinese researchers, a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections — the most intense eruptions on the sun — sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space and through Earth’s orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, when the ignition spot on the solar surface was aimed at Earth, it would have hit the planet, potentially wreaking havoc with the electrical grid, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives.
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