Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Preparing for Solar Storms

Tom Worthington with the Telstra Tower in the distance.
Picture by Gary Ramage, Canberra Times,
published 25 March 2024. Reproduced by permission
In an interview with
The Canberra Times last week, I pointed out that space based telecommunications are vulnerable to solar storms, so terrestrial facilities such as Telstra Tower remain useful (Why Telstra Tower could save us in an apocalypse, Lucy Arundell, March 25 2024). As it happens, the Australian Space Weather Forecasting Centre (part of the Bureau of Meteorology), issued a severe space weather WATCH the day before the article was published: "The effects are expected to be significant. Increased awareness of critical infrastructure is advised." The alert was cancelled the next day. The following Tuesday I was interviewed on radio about the same topic.

My comment on solar storms was a throwaway remark, but the journalist identified it as the most interesting aspect of the interview. I often find such insights when being interviewed by journalists.

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