As if we didn't have enough to worry about already: New Scientist reports that geomagnetic "space storms" - think solar flares on steroids - could knock out electrical power systems around the world.
We could have as little at 90 seconds warning. Just like that: no power, no running water, no modern health care or gas pumps or refrigeration or a/c or heating. Pretty soon, no rule of law.
The transformer hubs that were melted by these massive waves of solar plasma could take a year to replace.
Oh, and the space probe that's keeping the closet eye on solar activity? It's getting decrepit and might just melt itself if one of these things hits.
It could make Katrina look like a minor inconvenience. And no one has any idea what to do about it.
(Image: SOHO Consortium/ESA/NASA)