I have long speculated that one of the two possible purposes of the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar was the prediction of a massive solar storm.
(the other was the return of a long period comet)
Basically, by noting the occurrences of auroras at low latitudes, future solar superstorms may have been predicted. This is complicated by the Sun rotating, meaning most superstorms would miss us. Even so, the discovery of a pattern could be discovered just from the auroras – it just means that most of the predictions would fail to be proven until now.
Like many things associated with the 2012 meme, this is a big if. However, it is conceivable that a destructive solar storm was predicted by the Maya for 2012. And it actually happened!
We haven’t had the technology for spotting solar storms not aimed at us for long. But the first one we have been aware of since the Carrington Event happened to be in the year 2012. It was bad enough to wipe out electricity grids globally:
Earth dodged a huge magnetic bullet from the sun on July 23, 2012.
According to University of California, Berkeley, and Chinese researchers, a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections — the most intense eruptions on the sun — sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space and through Earth’s orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, it would have hit Earth, potentially wreaking havoc with the electrical grid, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives.
…”The authors believe this extreme event was due to the interaction of two CMEs separated by only 10 to 15 minutes,” said Joe Gurman, the project scientist for STEREO at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
The STEREO spacecraft were launched in 2006. There is no statistically relevant way of interpreting the timing of the two Carrington-level storms so far observed. But a layman could see it this way:
- After 6 years, one such event was observed
- The last event that struck earth was roughly 150 years ago
- That equals 25 events every 150 years, with one aimed at us
I don’t know how wide these storms are. But it feels like we will suffer a direct hit before too long. The Carrington Event was not a one-off. They happen on a regular basis, and in due course we will be in the firing line.