Solar Storm hitting earth

What will happen if a solar storm hits the earth

Natural disasters are much more disastrous than human-made disasters. One of such disasters is Solar Storms. If it hits the earth in nearby future then disaster will be unimaginable. A solar Storm can last from hours to days.

What is Solar Storm

Sun is one of the hottest stars in our solar system. At the surface of the sun, all kind of activities such as Solar flares, high-speed solar winds, coronal mass ejection (CME) takes place. These events are driven by the sun’s strong magnetic field.

A solar prominence is a bright feature extends outwards and anchored to the sun’s surface. It is composed of plasma, an electrically charged particles including Hydrogen and Helium. It flows in the tangled path that is created by the sun’s magnetic field. Generally, this prominence stays stable but sometimes this prominence becomes unstable and releases the plasma into space.

When this prominence hits our earth at a very high velocity then it is known as Solar Storm or coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME contains billions of tons of plasma accelerating and sweeping proton particles towards our atmosphere. As we all know that photons travel at the speed of light. They can reach earth in just under 10-minutes. As they hit the earth, but nothing happens as fast-moving protons absorb by the earth’s magnetosphere that shields Earth from most of the particles that the sun emits. They are then safely guided down by the earth’s magnetic field to near the north and south poles. The charged particles then glow and are known as “Auroras.”

Image: NASA

But when a very large Solar storm hits the surface of earth then earth’s magnetic field will have to deform so dramatically that currents are being generated and flow along magnetic lines down to earth’s surface. When this will happen then it will create a massive problem.

When can Solar Storm hit the earth

CME originates from the surface of the earth and can continue on in any direction along with Solar Wind. When these CME s aimed at the earth then it can hit the earth and cause an impact.

How it will impact our lives on earth

As we know that last Solar Storm happened in 1859. As soon as it hits the earth, an electric current started flowing across the globe. In back 1859, there was no such advancement in technology. Back then, only Telegraphs were electronic gadgets. So telegraphs across North America and Europe went down. At some places, fires were stared. People received electric shocks.

But in today’s world, almost everything depends on electricity so impact and disaster will be much greater than in 1859. If any solar storm hits us today then all the Power Grid went offline. There will be a total blackout. People won’t able to charge their electronic devices including mobile phones, laptops. The electronic gadgets such as Air Conditioner, TV fridge will stop functioning. If you are inside an airplane then the pilot will lose all communication and he will be forced to fly blindly with any GPS. All radio communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigations will be blocked.

There will be solar plasma accumulated over the atmosphere which will block all the communication. People won’t able to make any calls or use any social media apps/sites.