A solar flare is a massive outburst of energy from the Sun. What if we are directly hit by a major one? This is how solar flares can impact us.
The Sun is essential for the survival of plants as well as humans on Earth, but this giant energy source can also disrupt all kinds of technology on Earth including the largest communication system that we depend on in today’s era! – the Internet The biggest threat from the Sun are Solar flares, which are the powerful large eruptions of electromagnetic radiation from the surface of the Sun sent hurtling into space at massive speeds. Thanks to the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere, which work as a shield to protect us from the effect of rays from the Sun on a daily basis, humanity is unaffected most of the times barring some incidents of radio blackouts. However, these solar storms do end up creating something beautiful too- the auroras. However, the potential for wreaking death and destruction is massive as a strong solar flare can conjure up a massive geomagnetic storm and that can destroy the Internet, mobile phones, satellites, power grids and more. Also read: This man captured a 4-Earth-sized solar flare with a telescope!
How solar flares can impact Earth?
Impact on power
Have you heard about 1859’s Carrington Event? The massive solar flare left a huge impact on Earth, including the failed power grids. Even in the 1980s, a geomagnetic storm caused by solar flares suffered a massive power outage in Quebec, Canada, leaving millions without electricity. Similar events can even happen today if a massive solar flare hits the Earth. If that happens, it will knock out the electricity grid and everything dependant on electricity will cease to function.
Impact on Communications
Not just power, but daily communication can be halted with disrupted power, Internet and GPS systems that we use. That includes everything, phone calls, internet, everything can be impacted. And it may stay down for months as it will take a lot of time to repair the damaged and destroyed infrastructure
While on the one side, the solar flares can cause many disruptions, on the other side, it has one good result too. The northern lights or auroras can light up the skies for a spectacular view! NASA explains how those fascinating lights in the sky are generated on the poles. It says, “Auroras are created when charged particles from the Sun are trapped in Earth’s magnetic environment – the magnetosphere – and are funnelled into Earth’s upper atmosphere, where collisions cause hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms and molecules to glow.”