I was soooo excited to see the Meridian line and the observatory, but nothing prepared me for that 70 degree hill and the one hour queue to get a ticket into the exhibit. Since my friend and I were also hungry, we decided to skip the observatory (don't worry, we took pictures of it), and go to the planetarium. After we shoveled up 6.5 pounds, we sat in our reclined seats and prepared for the show.
Ironically, the presentation was not about the meridian line (GMT), but rather about the sun dying and a future increasing amount of super storms (a really bright and airy topic lol). I know that sounds depressing, and trust me, it was shocking, but overall it was worth watching. In fact, I think everyone should become aware of the possible interruption of our way of life. A super storm emits billions or electron particles that disrupt and can halt the technologies that we truly depend on for global communication. Say goodbye to Instagram, iMessage, email, and access to the Cloud. I'm not sure for how long a super storm could knock out power grids, but the mere fact that it could and probably will if we don't plan accordingly is more alarming to me than anything else. Not everyone in the world has to go to the planetarium, but I think organizations should make this information more available to the public so they can be mentally prepared to disconnect temporarily in the case of a super storm.
In the late 19th century, a solar storm did hit earth and create the phenomenon called the aurora lights. At that time, nothing was digital and communication as well as record keeping were, at best, achieved with a telegram. But a larger solar storm's implications on our 21st century health care system and treatments could be detrimental. Hospitals and clinics around the world are switching to similar digital record systems so they can all access the most updated medical records of their patients. Dead power grids and disrupted online systems could set back access and quality of health care overnight. So astronomical research is heavily connected to public health.
I'm grateful that I'm taking the classes I chose on this trip, but I do miss learning astronomy related science, so this excursion was not only informative but really enjoyable.