Rick Montgomery
The Florida Times-Union
April 7, 2014

A huge solar flare belched a cloud of charged particles into Earth’s path. But other than frying telegraph lines, the electromagnetic collision caused little stir in the world. Nobody back then had yet switched on a decent light bulb, much less charged an iPhone.

Yet the sun hasn’t changed its ways, and that worries University of Kansas physicist Adrian Melott, among others. What if the remnants of a similar solar flare struck the planet today?

“Gee, I’d be without cable TV,” Melott deadpanned.

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