As you may have noticed there are several differences with the issue this time. First and foremost, much of this issue is concerned with a single subject – our local star, which is heading for a peak of activity due next year. Chances are that this issue and other similar coverage will be all you get to see about our local solar weather: it almost certainly will not affect you.The thing is though, that is could. Even with the most recent flare, there are predictions that power outges will happen in some parts of the Earth – though you probably will not be in one of those parts simply because big as the sun may be, huge as its weather may be and massive as this particular local storm may be the Earth is also big so you are much more likely to live in a part of it that will not be affected.
As well as news of the most recent storm which came in just as this issue was being put together, we have a much more complete article about the nature of solar storms and solar weather in general. Here you can read a little more about the causes of events such as our recent flare and the effects they can have on the Earth in general. Unlike the news of the recent flare, for which we must thank the Guardian, this article was put together by ourselves some days before the news of the flare arrived.
On a different solar issue, we also have a look at the recent changes in the efective costs of solar panels and the electricity they can produce, which for the first time is becoming not only economic but also a viable and cheaper alternative means of off-grid production. Not, unfortunately, as yet for those of us in the United Kingdom, but for those in India or even Spain they are now much to be recommended.
End of the Universe
While issues with our own star are hardly the end of even our own local area, we also look at a strange plan to let people, in computerised form at least, survive beyond the end of the entire unverse!
This rather bizarre idea relies on the development of “time-crystals” to carry us out of the universe and across into any newly created or developed universe beyond the end. They would even let us survive if no unverse is born when our own dies a natural death. If you think this is more than a little reminiscent of Doctor Who and the Timelords, you would not be alone – but this idea is a serious suggestion by a Nobel prizewinner, so we can’t just shrug it iff as science fiction.
Finally, we have some changes again to the structure of the magazine. The sharper among you will note that there are now comment sections at the end of each article rather than just the Letters Page area in the main site menu. Hopefully, this will encourage a little more discussion of articles while still providing the main Letters Page for more general discussion.
While we have had a number of comments to the Letters Page, it looks like WordPress is a little too keen to mark them as spam and refuse to put them up for publication. There are now almost four hundred readers to this magazine which we would hope would give us around four comments or more each issue – more we hope! To encourage you, just a little advice: WordPress does not seem to like links in comments so do try to avoid putting more than a couple in your discussions.
- X-Class Solar Flares of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- Biggest Solar Storm in Five Years to Hit Earth (radiopd.wordpress.com)
- Will the solar storm disrupt power grids? (csmonitor.com)
- Earth braces for biggest space storm in five years (hazima.wordpress.com)
- WATCH: Huge Solar Flare Could Disrupt Power Grid, Satellites (huffingtonpost.com)
- Earth braces for biggest space storm in 5 years (calgaryherald.com)