In the early hours
of March 13, 1989, the public utility Hydro-Québec went out of service.
The conditions in outer
space near Earth, which are heavily influenced by the sun was quickly identified as the cause of the blackout.
There had been not one,
but two large (CMEs), clouds of electrically charged particles unleashed from the sun's outer atmosphere.
blackout is now a go-to example of how solar activity can disrupt life on Earth
A cautionary tale that we may
still not know enough about space weather to predict, preempt or at least swiftly recover from a similar geomagnetic storm.
And with the solar activity
ramping up as the sun enters solar cycle 25 in earnest, the story of Hydro-Québec is particularly powerful.