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Near-Miss Solar Storm Could Have Crippled Life on Earth

3 years ago329 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Two years ago, a NASA observatory picked up on a solar storm that came close to causing serious technical problems here on Earth.

Two years ago, a NASA observatory picked up on a solar storm that came close to causing serious technical problems here on Earth.

Solar storms, or coronal mass ejections, are composed of gas clouds and magnetic field lines that alter the magnetic fields of the planets they hit.

In 2012, experts say that a coronal mass ejection came within a week of hitting our planet.

Disruptions to electricity and satellite technology would have been felt across the globe if the solar storm hit Earth.

Blackouts would cause most toilets, which are powered by electricity, to stop flushing.

According to estimates from the National Academy of Sciences, repairing infrastructure damaged by a coronal mass ejection would cost around two trillion dollars.

The last time a significant solar storm hit Earth was back in the year 1859, in what’s known as the Carrington event.

Pete Riley, a physicist at Predictive Science Inc. is quoted as saying: “It’s likely that the Carrington event was also associated with multiple eruptions, and this may turn out to be a key requirement for extreme events.”

Experts predict that there is a 12 percent chance of a solar storm hitting our planet in the next ten years.