Solar Eruptions Hit Home
The sun is entering a period of increased activity, and massive solar eruptions are beginning to wreak havoc on modern technology. A recent solar eruption disrupted radio communication in China, and there is concern that further eruptions could disrupt daily life on a wider scale.
Scientists have long predicted that solar storms could disrupt global communications and affect telephone and power networks. A powerful solar eruption known as the Carrington Event struck in 1859, causing fires and shorting out telegraph wires. Imagine how much more powerful this disruption would be with modern infrastructure; with communications and power shorted out, global chaos would ensue. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences estimates that the disruptions and destruction caused by such storms could exceed $2 trillion and require years to rebuild all affected infrastructure and systems.
According to NASA, the Carrington Event was a solar storm of such magnitude that the skies were filled with red auroras, compass needles pointed in the wrong direction, and electric current passed through the Earth’s topsoil. The storm was caused by a coronal mass ejection that hit the Earth’s magnetic field with such intensity that it created vibrations and sent currents through both the ground and atmosphere. Luckily, solar storms of this magnitude are rare events.