Over 99% of the mass in our entire solar system only exists in the sun. It is over a hundred times wider than the Earth, but more than 330,000 times as massive. And this whole mass is hydrogen or helium. The whole thing has been burning for 4.6 billion years and it is still a good 5 billion years until all the fuel is burned. If all things are the same, it’s an amazing thing. We still don’t know much about our star, but the things we’re doing now, especially about solar storms, are pretty daunting.
10. Solar flares could bring the world to a standstill
Solar flares are nothing new and are very common on the surface of the sun. Visually, they would look like a bright spot on the surface of an already very bright object. They are caused by an acceleration of particles in the sun’s body that expel quickly. Usually no cause for alarm. Unless they exist on a scale and a large solar flare could have a major impact.
It has been predicted that a sufficiently massive solar flair, if released towards the earth, could have enough electromagnetic energy to substantially turn off our planet. GPS satellites, telecommunications, Internet, basically everything we take for granted today, would be clicked on.
It’s all speculative, but there is a possibility. And the whole range of things affected is breathtaking. It is not only communication systems, but also power grids that prevent nuclear reactors from overheating. That kind of creepy stuff. Even in dollars and cents, it was predicted that something like this would cost the world around $ 10 trillion to fix. The top? It has been predicted that there will be a 12% probability within the next decade.
9. Coronal mass ejections are huge
Coronal mass ejection is not the same as a solar flare and generally follows the heels of a solar flare. It is a massive release of plasma from the solar corona and is characterized by an intense magnetic field. And they are by no means small.
A coronal mass ejection can contain about a million tons of solar material if it explodes outwards. You can drive at a speed of 4,473,873 miles an hour and have a radial size of 23 million miles. They can even appear larger than the sun itself.
8. Solar proton events dose radiation to airplanes
A lot of radiation is released during a solar storm, and when it is vented towards the earth, our planet is bathed in it. However, this is usually not a problem as our atmosphere protects us from such things. Solar flares have occurred since the sun first existed. So it’s not something to be particularly upset about when you’re standing on the floor. However, there can be a problem if you are not standing on the floor.
Research has shown that astronauts in particular, and even those on airplanes, are at higher risk of radiation exposure when solar events occur. Passengers and the crew on an airplane flying 40,000 feet during a solar event based on a 2017 event would have received in the meantime 90 and 110 microsieverts radiation. Your average x-ray shows 100 microsieverts.
One day’s exposure is not that terrible, but consider how often flight attendants and pilots are in the air. It is estimated that in a given year the aircraft crew will receive three times the normal dose of background radiation. In the event of solar events, this exposure increases suddenly. During a life in the air, you have the potential to have absorbed a number of X-rays.
7. They are expensive
To fully understand the effects of a mild solar storm, we don’t have to go too far in the past. Thirty years ago, on March 13, 1989, a solar storm caused a massive blackout that brought much of the Canadian province of Quebec to a standstill.
The plasma eruption of the sun caused an aurora to be seen as far as Florida and Cuba in the south. Millions of Quebec residents were without electricity about 12 hours. The cost was estimated at $ 13.2 million. Estimates of the future cost of major storms are staggering. Some predictions cost us as much as these storms $ 40 billion. It’s not a total, it’s a day.
6. They create aurors
Probably the most unusual side effects of solar storms are the visual effects on our atmosphere. People in the far north are used to the Aurora Borealis, which most people know as the Northern Lights, but they are generally confined to this geographical region. Sun storms bring the north to every region of the world.
Various solar storms have caused the lights to fall over places such as New Zealand, Boston, Cuba,West Africa and elsewhere. Even though the Northern Lights are harmless and spectacular to look at, the unexpected appearance in different parts of the world must be unsettling for those who live there, especially if they haven’t heard the news.
5. One Shocked Telegraph Operators
Sometimes known as the Carrington Event, the Sun Storm of 1859 is the strongest storm we have ever recorded. It’s hard to get a full picture of how intense this event was given the technical limitations at the time, but reports of what happened are almost unbelievable. If they hadn’t come from all over the world, they might be incredible.
At that time, world communication was limited to telegraph machines, and these machines were badly damaged in the storm. There are reports that telegraph poles sparked and operators experienced them Electric shocks through their telegraphs around the world. That is, the storm was so strong that it actually generated an electrical charge essentially from thin air.
4. They electrify the air
To fully grasp the scope of the Carrington event and its impact on the world, there is a story that puts everything into perspective. When telegraph poles sparkled and an aurora was visible all the way to Hawaii and parts of the Caribbean, it was obviously a massive solar storm. But it had a remarkable secondary effect on the telegraph system.
Since the cargo in the air had started to shock telegraph operators, some of them disconnected their power supplies to ward off the damage. Inexplicably, they were able to continue working. There was so much Electricity in the airthe telegraphs could work without a connected power supply.
On the one hand, this seems a little confusing, but it is also very similar to the dream that Nikola Tesla had to create limitless wireless energy for everyone in the world. It can happen, it just takes an impressive amount of effort.
3. One billion hydrogen bombs
Solar flares are classified according to their size and intensity. The smallest torches are known as the A-Class. After A class is B class and then C class. Things get a little messed up when the M-Class follows, and then the last class is the X-Class. You can see the scale as a kind of Richter scale for earthquakes and the Fujita scale for tornadoes. Each letter on the solar flare scale corresponds to a level 10 higher than the previous one. What exactly does that mean when the X-Class solar flares are the strongest?
At the beginning, this classification is a little misleading. While X is the largest classification on the scale, there is still a scale in the X range. X1 is followed by X2, X3, etc. In 2003, a solar flare up to X28 was measured. Each of these numbers is an order of magnitude 10 higher than the previous one. And the reason why you measured X28 was because it was as high as the sensor was before you turned it off.
It is not easy to understand the energy that is released during these massive torches because it is so much bigger than anything we can experience here on Earth. An X-level solar flare was compared with hydrogen bombs in terms of energy delivery. In particular, an X-level solar flare releases the same amount of energy as approximately 1 billion hydrogen bombs. And to be very clear, a hydrogen bomb is about 10 times stronger when the atomic bombs were dropped during World War II.
2. You are incredibly fast
Knowing how quickly something happens is important to know how to respond. That is why so much effort is put into investigating things like earthquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes. We need early warning systems so that people have time to prepare. Knowing how to prepare for a solar storm could certainly benefit the world. The problem is that the speed at which these things happen is next to impossible to prepare for.
While some research has shown that coronal mass ejection should reach earth in about three to four days, this is not always the case. The coronal mass ejection from 1859 is said to have reached Earth in just 17 hours. The extent of the damage caused was mitigated by the technology that was then limited to Earth. If something like this happened today, 17 hours would be absolutely no time to prepare for it.
1. We don’t really understand them
Perhaps the most terrible thing we know about solar storms is what we don’t know. After all, fear of the unknown is a very important issue in life. And when it comes to solar storms, even though we understand many of the mechanisms behind certain events, there is just as much and more that science has not yet figured out.
How strong a solar storm can get if it happens what it does to the earth is all speculative at best. Science from space is a lot of theory in the hope that observation can support it. And when things happen on a universal scale, it means that people can’t always find out what’s going on.
That said, we really have no way to prepare for a big solar storm because we don’t know how to quantify it. We have ideas from those in the past, and we can guess what a worse one would look like, but we don’t know if it would be worse than our worst guess.
Fortunately, such events on a cosmic scale are quite common. It is possible that a catastrophic solar storm could happen in our lives, but it is equally possible that nothing will happen for another 100 million years.
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