Daily Bangla Times :

Published : 2023-06-30 12:38:30

Daily Bangla Times :

Published : 2023-06-30 12:38:30

NASA warns of solar storm that may cause 'internet apocalypse': Report

NASA warns of solar storm that may cause 'internet apocalypse': Report

Daily Bangla Times: US space agency Nasa has issued a warning about an upcoming solar storm that could potentially lead to months-long disruption of the internet, causing what is being called an “internet apocalypse”, according to media reports.

The space agency obtained information about the solar storm through its mission known as the “Parker Solar Probe”, which serves as a continuous observer of the Sun.

Launched in 2018, this mission aims to uncover the secrets of the Sun's corona and solar wind.

A solar storm occurs when disturbances in the atmosphere happen on Earth due to activities on the Sun, particularly solar flares. These flares are ejected from the Sun and can impact anything they encounter on our planet, Hindustan Times reports.

Nasa explains that during an 11-year cycle, the Sun becomes more active around the middle of this period and gradually calms down afterwards. As the Sun becomes more active, the solar storms become more severe and powerful. While the frequency of these storms can vary, the most intense geomagnetic storms can cause disruptions in satellite operations, radio signals, and internet connections.

What will it do to the internet?

The increased activity of the Sun poses dangers to satellites, spacecraft, and astronauts in space due to higher radiation levels. This solar activity also poses a risk to Earth by causing powerful geomagnetic storms that can disrupt high-frequency radio communications and GPS systems. This disruption could potentially lead to an internet outage or shutdown.

What's ‘Carrington event’?

In 2012, there was a major solar storm that narrowly missed causing significant damage. However, the last notable event of similar magnitude occurred in 1859 and is known as the “Carrington event”.

During that time, the geomagnetic storm was incredibly powerful, leading to telegraph lines giving electric shocks to operators and even catching fire on their own. These intense storms also caused auroras, usually seen near the poles, to be visible all around the world.

What will the same intensity storm do now?

If a solar storm of the same magnitude as the one in 1859 were to happen today, it could cause significant harm to the electronics of satellites orbiting Earth. This would lead to disruptions in important navigation and communication systems, including the synchronization of GPS time that the internet relies on.

The increase in electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere would generate enormous currents in our power grids, which could result in the failure of electrical transformers and long-lasting power outages.