It’s a small chance, but having a small chance of something wiping out all of life on a planet still seems like too much.
A modern-day mechanical Icarus.
He was one of the pioneers of studying solar activity.
It happened before and it could happen again rather soon. Damage to power grids, satellites, and communications could amount to $10 trillion.
All because the sun had a bad day and ‘farted’.
Just like our own planet, the sun goes through seasonal changes in its activity, waxing and waning over the course of nearly two years driven by changes in newly discovered bands of strong magnetic fields. This variability helps shape the sun’s long-term 11 year cycle, yet again part of a longer cycle that lasts 22 days. Largely unpredictable, the sun constantly spews highly charged particles known as coronal mass ejections which can severely affect power grids, satellites and even airplane passengers. During its seasonal peaks, however, the sun is much more prone to solar storms, so understanding how this cyclic variability happens is key to averting a potential disaster.
A chance discovery has provided experimental evidence that stars may generate sound. While he was examining the interaction of an ultra-intense laser with a plasma target, John Parsley from the University of York found that interfering plasma generates a series of pressure pulses – in other words, sounds.
A magnetic solar ‘heartbeat’ beats deep down in the Sun’s interior, generating energy that leads to solar flares and sunspots. Solar flares and sunspots A solar flare is a large energy release in the form of a sudden brightening of the surface or the solar limb. The flare ejects clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms through the corona of the
The most powerful explosion in the Universe – a gamma-ray burst– might have hit Earth during the middle ages. Luckily enough for our ancestors the event had its origin thousands of light years away and its effects went by unnoticed. Last year, scientists found unusual levels of radioactive carbon-14 in cedar trees in Japan and spikes of beryllium-10 in Antarctic ice, signifying
A solar flare will breach Earth’s magnetic field that typically shelters our planet’s surface from such hazards. The ensuing onslaught would fry all electronic devices in the world and cut power grids. Chaos would ubiquitously surface causing anarchy in a Mad Max type of scenario. New age prophets have for years labeled technology as the devil’s tool, along with money which
From time to time, the sun projects billion-ton clouds of charged particles from its scorching surface, surrounded by a solar atmosphere scientists dub corona, into space. Sometimes, these blasts hit the Earth’s magnetic field with a high potential for wrecking havoc to satellites and communications, and in extreme cases massive electrical power surges. It’s become a sort of priority, thus, for
Astronomers have surprised a blast of charged solar particles erupting from a massive solarspot, recently. The unleashed X-class solar flare is expected to reach Earth’s magnetic field on Saturday morning (2:52 p.m. EDT). Scientists warrant that there’s a chance temporary disruptions to GPS signals, radio communications and power grids might occur. Of greater interest for most of us though, is the consequent
Some stars, most often during their early life, exhibit an intense and energetic behavior, much greater than that of our own sun, despite a similar size, per say. In the first survey of its kind, scientists at Kyoto University have analyzed sun flares erupting on the surface of distant stars through out our galaxy. They found that some solar flares were
Astronomers have observed a huge sunspot group on the surface of the sun, sized at more than 60,000 miles across, which might outbreak in a potentially hazardous solar storm. From time to time, the sun spews huge energy releases called solar flares, which depending on their magnitude (the weakest are “C” class and the most powerful are “X” class) can cause radio
The solar flare is here! Today, Thursday, at about 5:45 a.m. Eastern time, the geomagnetic storm that arose from the surface of the Sun as a result of a massive solar flare reached our planet’s atmosphere. So far, the storm has been quite a dud, with researchers and amateur astronomers all over the world reporting the “impact was weaker than
The largest solar flare since 2006 occurred Tuesday, when a massive amount of plasma was ejected at a speed of over 4 million miles per hour, causing some significant problems on Earth, forcing planes to reroute, knocking out power grids and blacking out a number of radios. “Super Tuesday? You bet!” joked Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist with the
The sun recently shout out an M3.2-class solar flare in our direction, which scientists expect to hit the Earth this Saturday. The coronal mass ejection however is too weak to cause any havoc like doomsday fanatics might hope, just an incredible “fireworks” display as the charged particles hit the Earth’s magnetic field resulting in spectacular aurora borealis at the poles. Your
In a statement wrote by NASA scientists (and I can only imagine how they felt while writing it) it is revealed that if the world is going to end in 2012, the Sun won’t be to blame. A deadly fireball Contrary to what doomsayers and conspiracy adepts will have you believe, the Sun simply doesn’t have enough energy to hurl
The northern hemisphere is accustomed enough to the dazzling Aurora Borealis phenomena, an event which occurs when charged particles collide with atoms from the extreme latitude atmosphere. However, yesterday almost the whole North American continent was bewildered by an incredible spectacle of lights, as Aurora Borealis apparitions were reported as far south as Kansas, Arkansas or New Mexico. This extremely
Most of us tend to believe the Earth is a safe heaven, with little regard to outerwordly consequences. The truth is our planet, although without a doubt a true gem within our galaxy, is susceptible to a slew of events triggered from within or well beyond our solar system. A lot of them are very dangerous to life on Earth,