The Sun is Really Hot

Solar FlareI don’t know if this actually qualifies as a Misleading Headline because it is so obviously ridiculous that it’s hard to imagine anyone was fooled. The Sun Could’ve Destroyed Civilization Two Years Ago blares the headline from many-time winner of my weekly award, The Daily Caller.

Clearly they are talking about solar flares that have the potential to destroy electronic equipment. There was a big one a couple of years ago but it did not hit the earth. In reality the world is a lot better prepared for solar flares than in the past and much of our electronic infrastructure is shielded from such assaults. I’m certainly not saying that a flood of charged particles from the sun couldn’t do a lot of damage but destroying civilization is probably beyond it’s power for the next few billion years.

It’s also interesting to note that the solar flare mentioned in the article was rated as a X1.1 which, while large, is hardly the biggest in 150 years as the article claims. There have been significantly larger flares spotted on any number of occasions since we’ve been closely observing such events.

I am sort of curious if any of my readers saw the headline and clicked on the story with any expectation of reading about a real threat to civilization. Did you see the article? Were you tempted to click? Did you think it was obviously silly? If you did click it did you believe the nonsense about it being the largest such event in 150 years?

Let me know in the comments!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery Fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
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