What is the next superdoom? According to scientists, humanity risks solar superstorm catastrophe! OMG, what is that?
Scientists predict a solar superstorm every 150 years, meaning we are currently five years overdue! So it could happen any time now! The calm before the storm?
Within the last few days, the solar activity has increased in intensity after a quiet July 2014. Is this the calm before the storm?
Threats of solar superstorms
Solar “superstorms” pose a catastrophic threat to humanity, scientists have warned. Solar storms are accompanied by coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, the most energetic events in the solar system, which see huge bubbles of plasma and magnetic fields being spewed from the sun’s surface. A solar superstorm occurs when a CME of sufficient magnitude tears into the Earth’s magnetic field and rips it apart. Scientists expect one every 150 years. The last one was in 1859, so 155 years ago! OMG!
Such a huge solar eruption would wreak havoc with communication systems and power supplies, crippling transport, sanitation and medicine. Without power, people would struggle to fuel their cars at petrol stations, get money from cash dispensers or pay online. Water and sewage systems would be affected too, meaning that health epidemics in urbanised areas would quickly take a grip, with diseases we thought we had left behind centuries ago soon returning.
The largest solar superstorm ever: The Carrington Event
The largest ever solar super-storm on record occurred in 1859 and is known as the Carrington Event, named after the English astronomer Richard Carrington who spotted the preceding solar flare. This massive CME released about 1022 kJ of energy – the equivalent to 10 billion Hiroshima bombs exploding at the same time – and hurled around a trillion kilos of charged particles towards the Earth at speeds of up to 3000 km/s. However, its impact on the human population was relatively benign as our electronic infrastructure at the time amounted to no more than about 200,000 kilometres of telegraph lines.
So you understand? These types of events are inevitable.
NASA scientists have predicted that the Earth is in the path of a Carrington-level event every 150 years on average – which means that we are currently five years overdue – and that the likelihood of one occurring in the next decade is as high as 12 per cent.