1. COME AGAIN?

    Solar Storm Almost Destroyed World

    A handout picture shows Coronal Mass Ejection as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7, 2011. The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011 from sunspot complex 1226-1227. The large cloud of particles mushroomed up and fell back down looking as if it covered an area of almost half the solar surface. The sun is entering a more active phase due to peak in 2013 on a roughly 11-year sunspot cycle, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said. Power supplies, air traffic control, communications and satellites can all be disrupted by storms. Picture taken June 7, 2011.   REUTERS/NASA/SDO/Handout (SCI TECH) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT - RTR2NGZR

    NASA/Reuters

    The most powerful solar storm in more than 150 years just missed planet Earth in 2012. That storm would’ve seen X-rays hitting Earth at light speed and destroying most electrical gear. The solar storm was caused by two large clouds of plasma known as coronal mass ejections being released by the Sun. “If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” said physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado. Luckily, it missed Earth. But if the blast had occurred a week earlier, it would have been a different story. According to the study, which was released by NASA on Wednesday, the total economic impact would be $2 trillion, or about the cost of 20 Hurricane Katrinas.

    Read it at NASA