Imagine A Solar Flare 1,000 Times bigger than ever seen before
Scientists have confirmed that the Sun can produce massive solar flares that if directed to the earth could have devastating consequences. Hold on though, before you start battening down the hatches and start building an underground shelter, it’s also been confirmed that this is very unlikely due to the known pattern of solar activity. Let’s hope that very unlikely means never. What would happen if this occurred? Read on to find out.
“If the Sun were to produce a superflare it would be disastrous for life on Earth; our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids,” said lead researcher Chloë Purgh from the University of Warwick in the UK.
“Fortunately, the conditions needed for a superflare are extremely unlikely to occur on the Sun, based on previous observations of solar activity.”
Solar flares occur when a build up of magnetic energy is suddenly released, and our Sun produces them pretty regularly, with the odd flare interfering with our GPS satellites or communications.
But super-flares are a whole other ball game. While we’ve never experienced one in our Solar System, researchers have observed them in other parts of the galaxy, and they’re thousands of times more powerful than the solar flares our Sun puts out.
To put it into perspective, our Sun’s normal solar flares can release energy equivalent to 100 million megaton bombs, which is pretty impressive, and has the ability to mess around with our communication systems. But super-flares can release the equivalent of a terrifying 1 billion megaton bombs.
But even though the Sun has the potential to produce a super-flare, that doesn’t mean that it’s likely to, seeing as the solar activity is completely different.
How about this near miss from a solar-flare, it makes you think?
Click Here to Check out an Amazing Video of the Sun from NASA