It was only a matter of time before a solar storm struck Earth again. In 1859, the planet had already experienced the largest recorded event of its kind: it was the Carrington event. At that time telegraphs all over the world stopped working.
Today such a storm could damage electricity and communication systems around the world.
To protect the planet, we need:
- encourage research into the effects of these storms,
- Install transformers that protect vulnerable equipment
- Develop strategies for accommodating grid load when solar storms are near.
What are solar storms?
Significantly, these storms occur when a large bubble of superheated gas, known as plasma, ejects from the surface of the Sun and collides with Earth. The bubble is called a coronal mass ejection.
Plasma is a cloud of protons and electrons (electrically charged particles) that, upon reaching Earth, interact with the magnetic field around the planet. This causes the magnetic field to distort and weaken, increasing the likelihood of natural events occurring.
Solar or geomagnetic storms are capable of releasing large amounts of cosmic rays into the atmosphere, which in turn generate carbon-14A radioactive isotope of carbon.
Evidence found in Antarctic ice points to a supermassive storm in AD 774, known as the Miyake Event, which produced the largest and fastest increase in carbon-14. Then, in AD 993, another 60% was smaller.
Everything indicates that they happen on average every 500 years.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) works with a “G scale” to measure the strength of these solar flares, which range from 1 to 5—with G1 minor and G5 extreme. The Carrington event would have been classified as a G5.
consequences of the storm
Today, a solar storm like the Carrington event can be devastating, affecting all electrical systems.
This phenomenon generates induced currents, which flow through the electrical network.
If the electrical service provided to several households is 100. Is amps, cCurrents of this magnitude can cause internal component damage and massive power outages.
More recently, in March 1989, a geomagnetic storm was three times smaller than carrington took place in Quebec (Canada). High magnetically induced currents damaged a transformer in New Jersey, United States, and tripped circuit breakers, leaving five million people without electricity for nine hours.
In addition to power failures, communications can be disrupted globally, with Internet service provider shutdowns, TV, navigation (GPS) and telephony service problems.
In addition, increased solar activity causes the atmosphere to expand, changing the density of the atmosphere where satellites are orbiting.
The high-density atmosphere creates drag on a satellite, which slows it down, and if it is not maneuvered into a higher orbit, it can be destroyed upon return to Earth.
*With information from conversation