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Thread: What happens to the digital stuff when a major solar event hits?

  1. #1

    What happens to the digital stuff when a major solar event hits?

    Say a Carrington Event as happened in 1859? Major solar flares caused Auroras bright enough to be seen in Bermuda. So much activity that telegraph stations caught fire from the electricity going through the lines - when the telegraph was shut off.

    If we have one now we may lose the power grid across the parts of the earth facing the incoming energy.

    What happens to all the computer files/cloud and such when it hits?

  2. #2
    Well, being as most all memory storage is non-volatile (magnetic, magneto-optical or flash-memory), losing power will not be destructive to stored data, just like turning off your computer at home, what's on the hard drive remains, what's in volatile RAM gets lost.

    The bigger issue with such a powerful solar event is an electromagnetic pulse-like event, large currents being induced into power lines and such. Most major power grids are much better protected from such overloads than they were 155 years ago. Still, I don't see them erasing data off of computers' hard drives directly, more like the power supply of the computer (or mother board) might get fried. Best security for personal data protection is to unplug one's computer from the grid when anticipating such an event. And shoot film or paper.

    "There was just that moment and now there's this moment and in between there is nothing. Photography, in a way, is the negation of chronology."-Geoff Dyer, "The Ongoing Moment"
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