Rambo Tribble writes: Coronal mass ejections, with severity comparable to the 1859 Carrington event, missed Earth by only 9 days, in 2012, according to researchers. The Carrington event caused widespread damage to the telegraph system in the U. S., and a similar occurrence would be devastating to modern electronics, it is thought. NASA's STEREO A spacecraft is responsible for detecting the event. From the Reuters article, 'Had it hit Earth, it probably would have been like the big one in 1859, but the effect today, with our modern technologies, would have been tremendous.' The potential global cost for such damage is pegged at $2.6 trillion.