Richard Christopher Carrington

The mysterious closure of a number of solar observatories a couple of weeks ago, most notably the one at Sunspot, New Mexico, led to a number of theories flaring up. One at least may have a molten core of genuine conspiracy. There was also a suggestion that a hole in the sun’s surface had appeared and might occasion a Carrington Event here on earth. This was met with a seemingly authoritative report that there is an 80% chance of one occurring in the next few days.

I’m not sure how great the disruption would be to our “civilization”. At best, people in certain parts of the globe will be treated to more auroras than usual – including pink ‘uns as the rays penetrate deeper and mess with nitrogen in the atmosphere. At worst…?

These events are named after an English amateur astronomer. His abilities were such that some of his observations of solar activity 150 or so years ago are still accepted as “standard”. His name may soon be in the news but on FamilySearch Tree he is a solitary figure.