Carrington Event

4 Sep 2020

William has compiled some futher information on the 1859 Carrington Event. In 'The Sun Kings: the unexpected tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of how Modern Astronomy began' by Stuart Clark (Princetown University Press:2007) and selling on Amazon at a low price (and no doubt elsewhere). We learn that on September 1st of 1859 the entire earth was engulfed in a gigantic cloud of seething gas (presumably plasma) and a blood red aurora erupted across the planet from the poles to the sub tropics. Telegraph systems crashed, machines burst into flames, and electric shocks rendered machine operators unconscious. Compasses and sensitive instruments reeled as if struck by a magnetic fist. Nobody knew what had caused this, apart from British astronomer Richard Carrington. Stuart Clark goes on to tell the full story behind Carrington's observations of an eruption on the sun and how this affected the earth. Clark also brings to life those scientists who roundly rejected the significance of Carrington's discovery of solar flares, as well as those few that took up his notion that the earth could be troubvled by influences from space. Clark then reveals details of the scandal that destroyed Carrington's reputation - and ruined his career in science.

See also ... a super solar flare, as in very large, was seen by Carrington who was on that fateful morning looking at an enormous group of sun spots, virtually growing in size as he looked at them. Suddenly, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sun spots, and intensified rapidly. They became kidney shaped, he recorded. Mindful that he needed a witness to substantiate what he was looking at he sought one out. He was only gone 5 minutes or so but by the time he returned to his telescope with a witness in tow the sun spots had shrunk to mere pin points. All the action had subsided - blasted into space. However, just before dawn the next day the skies above the earth erupted in red, green and purple aurorae, so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. That must depend if the newspaper had been delivered prior to dawn, but it made a good story at the time. Stunning auroras could be seen in the sub tropics - in Cuba, Jamaica, the Bahamas, even El Salvador and Hawaii. No one knew flares existed until that morning. They have been studied ever since.

See also .. which comes with some interesting comments. Lots of them including Leif Svalgard. See also