Media sources claim that Nasa has warned of an impending solar storm that might result in months of internet outage and what is being referred to as a “internet apocalypse.” Through its “Parker Solar Probe” mission, which acts as a constant monitor of the Sun, the space agency learned about the solar storm. This 2018 expedition was launched with the intention of learning more about the solar wind and corona of the Sun.
What is a solar storm, when does it happen ?
When changes in the atmosphere occur on Earth as a result of solar activity, notably solar flares, it is called a solar storm. They are expelled from the Sun and have the potential to affect whatever they come into contact with on Earth.
According to NASA, the Sun experiences a modest increase in activity in the midst of each 11-year cycle and a subsequent decrease. Solar storms intensify and get stronger as the Sun becomes more active. Even though the frequency of these storms can vary, the most powerful ones can impair internet connectivity, radio broadcasts, and satellite operations.
What impact will it have on the internet?
Due to increasing radiation levels, the Sun’s heightened activity puts humans, spacecraft, and satellites in peril. Strong geomagnetic storms brought on by this solar activity are another danger to Earth because they may interfere with GPS and high-frequency radio communications. A shutdown or internet outage might result from this disturbance.
A strong solar storm occurred in 2012, although it narrowly avoided causing serious harm. The “Carrington event”—the most recent significant occurrence of this size—took place in 1859. The geomagnetic storm at the time was so strong that it caused telegraph cables to spontaneously catch fire and give operators electric shocks. The auroras, which are often viewed close to the poles, were also made visible all throughout the world by these powerful storms.
The electronics of satellites orbiting Earth might sustain serious damage with a solar storm of the same size as the one in 1859. Important navigation and communication systems, particularly the GPS time synchronisation that the internet depends on, would be affected.
Our power networks would experience tremendous currents due to the rise in atmospheric electromagnetic radiation, which might lead to the collapse of electrical transformers and prolonged power outages.