Superflare strike risks plunging Earth into darkness in ‘major event’ | Science | News

Superflares are bursts of charged particles, solar energy and cosmic radiation from the surface of a star. Geological and anthropological theorist Randall Carlson of told RT what would happen if a superflare struck the planet. He warned: “Power plants would go down, substations would go down, transmission lines, cellphone towers, would go down. There would pretty much be a collapse of the electronic grid system that we all depend on.

“It could last anywhere, depending on the severity of the event, anywhere from days to weeks and even months to get back online.

“This would mean that large portions of the planet could be plunged into darkness, with no electricity and no means of communication.

“You know, everything that you depend on. Your refrigerator – gone, your air conditioning – gone. Pumping stations are going to be down and therefore you wouldn’t even be able to flush your toilet.

“For portions of the earth, it would be like going back to the dark ages again because we become so dependent. The thousands of satellites that we depend on for our global telecommunications – they could be severely damaged.

“It could be a major event.”

In 2014, NASA warned there was as much of a 12 percent chance of a solar storm similar to the 1859 Carrington Event between 2012 and 2022.

On the morning of September 1, 1859, as amateur astronomer Richard Carrington sketched an unusual cluster of sunspots, our star erupted in a fierce flash.

An unfathomable amount of energy stored in the Sun’s magnetic field was released, propelling incredible amounts of energy on a collision course with Earth.

Carrington had witnessed a solar flare, and the subsequent coronal mass ejection that would hit Earth 17 hours later resulted in a geomagnetic storm of such strength that it would become worldwide news.

Mr Carlson warned: “This is a very real thing. It’s not hypothetical. It is not science fiction.”

Until recently, astronomers believed superflares were only produced by young and active stars spewing energy.

But researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) in the US fear older and quieter stars like our Sun can produce these blasts.

The shocking revelation, according to one of the researchers, is a “wake up call” for everyone on the planet.

Astronomer Yuta Notsu, who lead a study into the dangers of superflares, said: “Our study shows that superflares are rare events.

“But there is some possibility that we could experience such an event in the next 100 years or so.”

A solar flare is when the outer layers of the Sun are home to an intense magnetic field running around in lines.

Occasionally, these magnetic fields will cross one another, tangle-up or move around.

When this happens, a powerful and spontaneous blast of energy erupts from the Sun into outer space.

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