Solar superstorms that can wreak havoc on modern technology erupt from our sun on average once every 25 years, according to a new study. The study draws on historical data collected from weather stations in the UK and Australia over 150 years. Although, if it had not been for the warm radiation of the sun, there would never have been life on Earth. But astronomers have also observed the unfortunate fact that the world is also damaged by radiation from vibrant stars.
In intense motion, stellar objects deprive the orbiting atmosphere of their surface strains and barren. Thankfully, our sun (the yellow dwarf, which accounts for 99.8 percent of the mass of the entire solar system), is now in a relatively calm phase of its life cycle of about 10 billion years. But it still has the ability to create chaos on Earth.
Today’s humans rely on countless electronic systems, without which we would be hopelessly plunged into chaos. Every day we use electronic banking, air travel and satellite technology to communicate.
Solar storms from the sun have the power to seriously disrupt our technological infrastructure, including elements that rely on global positioning systems (GPS).
Strong solar storms are rare and difficult to predict. These storms have the ability to lower GPS systems, block radio communications, disrupt satellites, paralyze aviation and disrupt the grid. In short, they can cause massive chaos.
The eruptions of such storms are periodic, known to astronomers as solar cycles. The sun is currently at the lowest point of the current cycle, during which time it is relatively inactive. The newly published study, carried out by scientists at the University of Warwick and the British Antarctic Survey, used magnetic field records collected from stations in the UK and Australia.
Many studies related to solar activity date back only to the beginning of the space age in 1957, so only the last five solar cycles have been considered. The magnetic field data used in the new study comes from the aa index, a 150-year-old global geomagnetic activity index that contains information about the last 14 solar cycles.
The researchers analyzed the data and estimated that in the 150 years they had data, severe storms occurred in 42 of the 150 years they had. Six or every 25 years in 150 years, a “big” superstorm is found, causing the most damage.
As early as 2012, Earth was almost hit by a potentially destructive solar storm, when the coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted from the surface of the star, but fortunately did not hit our planet.
Professor Richard Home, head of space weather at the British Antarctic Survey, said: “Our research suggests that superstorms may occur more than we think. “Don’t be misled by statistics, it can happen at any time, we just don’t know when and where, let alone predict. “