River to River
5:30 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

The Solar Flare That Nearly Knocked Out Power to Tens of Millions

NASA just released news that back in 2012, the Earth came very close to being hit by a solar flare – an event that could have wiped out electrical power for tens of millions of people.

"We are playing a game of Russian roulette with the sun."

On this River to River segment, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa, Greg Howes, tells us why these solar flares occur, and the chances Earth will be hit by one in the future. We also talk with John Kappenman, Principle Consultant at Storm Analysis Consultants, about the vulnerability of our power and technology systems.

Related Program