A solar flare is a large explosion in the Sun's atmosphere that can release as much as 6 × 1025 joules of energy. The term is also used to refer to similar phenomena in other stars, where the term stellar flare applies. "Killer" solar flares have been observed on other stars. In 2006, NASA's Swift observatory saw the largest stellar flare ever observed 135 light-years away. Estimated to have unleashed an energy of 50 million trillion atomic bombs, the II Pegasi flare will have wiped out most life on Earth if our Sun fired X-rays from a flare of that energy at us.
Solar flares affect all layers of the solar atmosphere (photosphere, corona, and chromosphere), heating plasma to tens of millions of Kelvin's and accelerating electrons, protons, and heavier ions to near the speed of light. They produce radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum at all wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays. Most flares occur in active regions around sunspots, where intense magnetic fields penetrate the photosphere to link the corona to the solar interior. Flares are powered by the sudden (timescales of minutes to tens of minutes) release of magnetic energy stored in the corona. If a solar flare is exceptionally powerful, it can cause coronal mass ejections.
X-rays and UV radiation emitted by solar flares can affect Earth's ionosphere and disrupt long-range radio communications. Direct radio emission at decametric wavelengths may disturb operation of radars and other devices operating at these frequencies.
Solar flares release a cascade of high energy particles known as a proton storm. Protons can pass through the human body, doing biochemical damage. The proton storms are produced in the solar wind, and hence present a hazard to astronauts during interplanetary travel. Most proton storms take two or more hours from the time of visual detection to reach Earth's orbit. A solar flare on January 20, 2005 released the highest concentration of protons ever directly measured, taking only 15 minutes after observation to reach Earth, indicating a velocity of approximately one-half light speed.
In 2004 & 2008 a Congressional Report on EMPs was published by the U.S. government on the potential threat and damage impact from an EMP attack. It was chilling stuff but no one paid attention. In the report, predictions run as high as 90% of the population would die off in the year after an EMP because of the complete collapse of our infrastructure. Such an attack using as few as three small fission bombs could destroy our country.
In 1859 a solar astronomer named “Carrington” observed a major solar flare and directly linked it to impact on earth. The EMP pulse blew out "The Victorian Internet" of its time - telegraphy systems, starting fires in telegraph stations, and even on fence posts that had barbed wire leading to them.
The general consensus in the community of scientists and military who deal with EMP on a day to day basis, is that a solar or military EMP is not a question of if, it is only a question of when. NASA/NOAA published a report in 2009 predicting a significant increase in solar activity peaking in 2013.
Evidence exists that a star known as WR104, in the constellation of Sagittarius, about 20 to 30 times the size of our sun, will explode with a gamma ray burst that could come our way in 2012. In fact, at 8,000 light years away, it may have already exploded and the death ray is already on its way to Earth.
To help resist this form of catastrophe, the Vivos shelters are designed to withstand:
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