Queen's University

Solar storm a "real threat": Queen's University expert

2012-03-09

Queen’s University astrophysics professor David Hanes is available to comment the solar storm currently hitting earth, the immediate impact and the impact on the world in the future.

This is the largest storm in the past five years. Currently, the storm isn’t causing any disruptions to GPS or the power grid, but this storm should be a wake-up call.

“This is a real threat. We’ve had storms like this in the past, like the solar storm in 1989 that caused the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power grid in a matter of seconds,” says Dr. Hanes. “The sun has been atypically quiet so we may experience a massive hit someday soon. Now more than ever we are dependent on social infrastructure, computers run our daily lives. We have no back up in place.”

Dr. Hanes is the head of the Queen’s Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy departments.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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