A leading expert has revealed that the end of the world may be triggered by a catastrophic solar storm about which future scientists may have little time to warn.
Among the various doomsday threats facing Earth from space, solar storms are not high on the agenda for most people. However, these high-energy emissions from the sun have the potential to wreak havoc. Earth is rarely affected by it, but its devastating impact can be seen throughout the solar system, so scientists are now searching more for it.
“The source of these high-energy particles and how they accelerate away from the Sun is exactly what we’re studying,” astrophysicist Dr. Michael Thaler told BigThink. When I say high-energy particles, I’m talking about electrons and protons – sometimes the size of a helium nucleus. They are exploding across our solar system at a speed of a million miles per hour. And there’s the high-energy winds that change planets — they’re responsible for Mars losing its atmosphere over time.”
Thaler explained that solar storms are responsible for “Mars losing its atmosphere” and “Venus turning into this infernal thing.”
But she added: “The only reason the Earth is not affected by it that much is because we have a very strong magnetic field. The molten metal core moving inside the Earth creates a magnetic bubble. This protects us from the solar wind.”
“We have an early warning system in place to see if something dangerous is coming from the sun,” Thaler continued. We may have about a day’s notice. Solar winds usually do not pose a great danger to us, but like the weather – sometimes there are big thunderstorms. And in the case of the Sun, it sometimes has very chaotic storms – in a single moment trillions of tons of fast, high-moving charged matter can head to Earth. And the biggest danger of these things to us is that when they hit the Earth’s field, they can take out the power grids.”
In the past 200 years, astronomers have recorded two solar storms responsible for global upheaval. The largest of these two events was the so-called Carrington event of 1859
After a powerful solar storm hit the planet, the resulting storm caused telegraph wires to shine and burn across North America and Europe.
Today, a Carrington-wide event could potentially bring down the internet, shut down GPS satellites, and trigger a global power outage — the bad news is that one such storm came dangerously close in 2012.
Physicists examined the solar storm, and in 2014 compiled a grim report on the damage it might have caused to Earth’s infrastructure.
According to their report, the total economic impact of the storm could have exceeded 1.45 trillion pounds ($2 trillion).
Source: Russia Today