We’re alerted by news organizations now and then about an impending “massive solar flare” that might fry the Internet or even the electric grid.
In theory, it’s possible, but there’s also a click-bait factor to this gloom and doom coverage.
But first, what’s a solar flare? Solar flares are immense bursts, or eruptions, of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun.
How immense? NASA says it’s “as much energy as a Billion one-megaton nuclear weapons.”
Fortunately, the Sun is far, and space is vast. All that energy is not concentrated in a finite space human can relate to.
Instead, the flare will dissipate, and a solar storm might head toward earth in minutes.
Can it do some severe damage? Yes, absolutely. In 1859 telegraph lines caught a fraction of this energy, leading to telegraph paper igniting in some places in the U.S and Europe.
In 1972, AT&T experienced some communications shutdowns and redesigned its infrastructure to cope with solar storms.
Medium Brush Stroke
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