A multiyear analysis of data published in mid-January revealed researchers’ methods to more accurately predict geomagnetic storms from solar observations.
A cohort of international researchers from Russia, Germany, Austria and Croatia conducted the study. The researchers discovered a methodology to help extend warning times for major geomagnetic storms coming from the sun, up from maybe a few hours to days in advance. While this might not mean anything to you on the surface, this discovery could save your life in the future — maybe even the near future.
Streams of electrons, protons and helium nuclei constantly billow from the sun, a concoction called “solar wind,” according to Phys.Org. This wind is constantly coating Earth and our neighboring planets in the solar system, but things aren’t always so chill, calm and consistent.
KAY SMYTHE: “If today was your last day on Earth, wouldn’t you want to shower the people you love with affection?” https://t.co/doiloVsafh
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 25, 2023
Without getting too into the weeds of the science behind it all, sometimes our sun likes to experience massive storms or “solar flares.” When this happens, explosive jets of solar wind containing plasma — known as coronal mass ejections — are hurled towards Earth, and can have devastating effects on our magnetic field, technology and infrastructure.
One such event occurred in 1859, just as the world’s technological developments were getting underway (for this version of modern society, at least). Known as the Carrington Event, the solar storm threw telegraph equipment and communication structures across Earth into chaos. Global electrical grids, though in their infancy, overcharged, allowing some technology to work with no traditional power source and frying other electrical equipment to death.
In a previous article, I explained how, if such an event occurred today, it would be like going to bed in the 21st century and waking up in the dark ages. Cars, computers, the internet, our phones — even the pumps and infrastructure we use to bring water to homes and food to our shelves would likely be broken, much of it beyond repair. (RELATED: Netflix Documentary Could Rewrite All Of Human History)
Until this most recent scientific discovery, the warning time for such an event was as little as just hours, according to Phys.org. By tracking solar sparks, astronomers can now potentially forecast solar storms days in advance, giving humanity enough time to descend into panic and violence instead of preparing for a return to natural living.