In a new study, experts warn that a solar superstorm could cause an “internet apocalypse,” wiping out the internet for weeks or even months. The study, led by Professor Peter Becker of George Mason University, found that the internet is particularly vulnerable to solar superstorms because of its reliance on delicate electronics.
Solar superstorms are massive eruptions of plasma and charged particles from the sun. When these eruptions hit Earth, they can disrupt our planet’s magnetic field and cause widespread power outages and communication disruptions. In the worst-case scenario, a solar superstorm could wipe out the internet entirely.
They are caused by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are large blobs of plasma and charged particles that erupt from the sun. CMEs can travel millions of miles through space and can hit Earth within 18-24 hours. When a CME hits Earth, it can disrupt our planet’s magnetic field and cause widespread power outages and communication disruptions.
Becker and his team estimate that the odds of a solar superstorm hitting Earth in the next decade are about 10 per cent. They are calling for more research on solar superstorms and for the development of early warning systems that could give governments and businesses time to prepare.
Scientists are working to develop new technologies and early warning systems to help us prepare for and mitigate the effects of solar superstorms. However, more research is needed to better understand these powerful events.
The sources for this piece include an article in FoxWeather.