Scientists have predicted the possibility of a solar storm that will give only 12 hours deadline before bringing about mass destruction on earth.
We all live in a world, now, that is so much immersed in advanced technology that we are depending upon it even for our survival. Our daily activities; turning on a light switch, fulfilling assignments through e-library, completing job tasks online and even surviving after a mishap on ventilator are all associated with the power supply. What if we get deprived of the electricity and means of communication? Unfortunately, the solar storm has the potency do this!
It was in 1859 last time when the solar storm affected the telegraph systems. It was one of the largest geomagnetic storms recorded, also known as Carrington Event. At that time, telegraph system was the most advanced system of communication. But if a solar storm occurs in the modern civilization, its adverse effects would be enormous.
The wide ranging effects can be loss of world’s electricity supply, disruption of railway and air system, loss of communication and disturbance or loss of satellite systems. Losses of trillions of dollars are expected. There will be huge black outs. Daniel Baker, the co-author of the National Research Council’s report on solar storm risks says, “Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year.”
The Carrington event took 18 hours to travel to earth. The faster the ejection, the lesser will be the time. “The worst case scenario would only allow us 12 hours from observation to impact”, says the report.
Although the electromagnetic pulse protection weapons are quite common with the military and nuclear utilities. They can shut down the EMP generation and reduce the possibility of chain reactions. Still, much effort needs to be done on large scale to remain protected from the physical effects of the solar storm.
A solar storm of similar magnitude as of 1859 was observed in 2012 but luckily its trajectory missed the orbit of earth and it passed by without striking our planet. We can still hope to remain protected from such a catastrophe. At the same time, protection measures against the damage of a solar storm need to be carried out by the government and the electrical utilities.