Mayan Prophecy: Is the World Coming to an End in 2012?
The Carrington Event
In September 1859, the largest geomagnetic storm in recorded history took place. Known as the Carrington Event, this solar storm was preceded by a tremendous amount of sunspot activity and solar corona flaresthat is, the sun was belching forth a white-hot geyser of solar plasma made up of electrons and protonsall headed right at the Earth. These coronas normally reach our planet in three or four days, but in the case of the Carrington Event, the corona ejection journey here was a blazingly fast 18 hours.
When the solar storm hit the Earth, the results were astoundingas if a gigantic magnetic hammer had struck the planet like a gong. All over the globe, telegraph machines malfunctioned and burst into flames; even when unplugged, they would continue to whirr on, spitting out gibberish. The feedback was so great in some cases that telegraph operators were electrically shocked into unconsciousness. Other sensitive equipment like compasses whirled around uselessly. The telegraph systems in Europe and North America were rendered unusable for days.
In the sky, the aurora borealis from the supercharged magnetosphere lit up far beyond its normal northern home. From as far south as Cuba, Panama and Hawaii came reports of dazzling auroras that lit up the sky with such vivid greens and golds that a newspaper could be read by their light even in the dead of night. These northern lights were so strong that miners in the Rocky Mountains woke at 1 a.m. and ate their breakfastthinking it was the dawn of a cloudy day.
Though the Carrington Event had a terrible effect on the Earth's nascent electronic grid and communication systems, it could have been far worse. The world had yet to become fully dependent upon electricity and instantaneous communication, and could recover with a minimum of effort. But what if a solar storm of a similar caliber were to hit the Earth now?
Are the rumors and mysteries surrounding the 2012 doomsday prophecy nothing but new-age mumbo-jumbo and fodder for bad disaster movies, or a real and deadly threat to human civilizationperhaps related to a catastrophic solar event? Our research suggests that this prospective menace is based not on dusty folktales, but on verifiable fact.