To our electronic way of life, the sun is a formidable foe, and the White House is taking protective action against it.
On October 29, the White House's National Science and Technology Council released its strategic plan to prepare for an extreme weather event in space that could destroy satellites, spacecraft, and vital telecommunications systems.
Many of these electrical systems depend on one another, which is a recipe for disaster.
"These critical infrastructures make up a diverse, complex, interdependent system of systems in which a failure of one could cascade to another," the NSTC reported in its plan.
A $2 trillion gamble
Every second, the sun shoots bursts of charged subatomic particles, in the form of solar wind, into space at speeds of 1 million mph.