Credit By: Space.com
A looming solar superstorm, characterized by a coronal mass ejection (CME), has stirred concerns about its potential to disrupt the internet system for weeks or even months. Professor Peter Becker of George Mason University warns of an “internet apocalypse” as intensified solar activity poses a significant threat to global technologies. Becker’s team is working on a warning system to alert people to potential solar dangers.
Proactive Response from the US Navy
In response to the potential threat, the US Navy has allocated a substantial $13.6 million grant for a collaborative initiative with George Mason University. The goal is to establish an early warning system for solar storms. The economic consequences of a disruption of this magnitude could reach up to $20 billion per day in the United States alone.
Impact of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
Coronal mass ejections can disturb Earth’s magnetic field, leading to the flow of electrical currents through the ground. This can result in damage to electronics, power grids, and satellites. While the last significant CME impact occurred in 1859, causing damage to the telegraph system, the current technological landscape is significantly more vulnerable.
Heightened Solar Activity in the Coming Decade
Scientists anticipate heightened solar activity in the coming decade, prompting increased efforts to predict and protect against CMEs. The fragility of modern electronics has raised concerns, leading to research into ways to harden the internet system and enhance its resilience against potential solar-induced damage. As dependence on technology grows, the need for proactive measures to safeguard against solar threats becomes increasingly crucial.
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