Earth logo

Scientists Issued Radiation Warnings As Earth Was Blasted By The Sun!

by Jason Ray Morton 3 months ago in Science
Report Story

Solar Storms And What They Can Do To Earth

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Radiation Warning

Today, NOAA issued radiation warnings as a result of a solar storm. Earth was struck by a succession of large plasma blasts from the sun, leaving some experts warning of radiation risks. Radiation can cause serious health risks to humans and other life on Earth.

According to the alert issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth is caught in the middle of a geomagnetic storm after expulsions from the sun made contact with space around our planet. The storm, classified by NOAA as a G3 level event, is considered a strong and potentially damaging storm.

Strong geomagnetic storms are known to cause problems in power systems. They can bring down satellites, cause problems for the astronauts on space stations, and cause malfunctions in navigation systems as well as radio communications. Solar storms are caused by an efficient exchange of energy from solar winds into the environment surrounding Earth. One well-known effect of solar storms is the appearance of auroras, like the Northern Lights, often at much lower than normal latitudes.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The Effects Of Solar Storms On Earth

Solar storms can have several effects on Earth:

  • Extreme high-energy particles, like those carried by Coronal Mass Ejections, can potentially cause radiation poisoning to humans and other mammals.
  • When a coronal mass ejection strikes Earth's atmosphere, it can cause disturbances and fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field.
  • It can throw satellites off course and cause them to fall to the surface of the earth, putting many urban centers at risk.
  • Scientists have theorized that migrating animals that use magnetoreception to navigate, such as birds and honey bees, might also be affected.
  • Rapidly fluctuating geomagnetic fields can produce geomagnetically induced currents in pipelines. This can cause multiple problems for pipeline engineers. Pipeline flow meters can transmit errored flow information and the corrosion rate of the pipeline can be dramatically increased.

After a recent geomagnetic solar storm, Elon Musk's SpaceX announced in February that it lost as many as 40 out of 49 Starlink satellites it launched earlier. SpaceX reported that the geomagnetic storms cause the atmosphere to warm and atmospheric density at their low deployment altitudes increased.

SpaceWeather.com is showing that the current solar winds are blowing at 516.6 km/sec with a density of 7.5 protons/cm3.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Genna Duberstein, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Is Earth Prepared For G5 Solar Storm?

In short, the answer is no. Experts have repeatedly cautioned that the Earth is not prepared for the potential effects of a G5 solar storm.

A New York Times Post report said that at a solar storm's strongest level the charged electromagnetic particles can result in electricity grids collapsing on a worldwide scale. The strongest solar storms can bring down satellite navigation, send satellites crashing to earth and leave GPS systems off by yards to miles.

In early 2010, in the middle of one of the larger storms to hit (G3), the effect on the atmosphere caused storms and fluctuations in the magnetic field that forced Tampa airport to shut down runways to realign navigational arrays.

The Carrington Event

In 1859 there was a solar storm dubbed the Carrington Event. During solar cycle 10, a massive CME hit the earth and induced the largest recorded geomagnetic storm in history. The Carrington Event was such an intense storm that people in California believed the sun rose early. Those in the northeastern U.S. could read a newspaper by the light of the aurora's bright light, and people as far sought as Hawaii, and south-central Mexico, could see the aurora lights in the sky.

The Carrington Event resulted in damage to electrical and communications lines available at the time while telegraph systems around the world failed. Many telegraph operators reported they received electrical shocks before the systems went down.

A study done by Lloyd's of London and AER in the United States showed that a similar storm of similar power happening today would cost the United States over 2.6 trillion in damages.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Conclusions

Solar flares, solar eruptions, CMEs, and other threats from outer space round out the ever-expanding list of threats we have to deal with as a species. While the arrival of a CME or G5 storm could wipe out technology for a time and take us back to the stone age for a month or so, the upside is that it would teach humanity a much-needed lesson. Maybe without all of the fancy tech and the marvels of science, we would begin to work together as one people on one planet.

In the meantime, there are things we can do to better understand the smaller risks to humanity, our wellness, and our overall health when it comes to living in a world that's constantly being bombarded by solar radiation only to see the sun occasionally vomit it at us in much bigger quantities. Paying attention and being aware, well that's step one.

Step two is up to the scientists of the world because without them the dangers of the sun are going to be there. The sun is something that we require to exist on this planet. Without it, the world would quickly turn into a frozen planet the likes of the Ice Planet Hoth in the movie Empire Strikes Back. In the case of days with radiation warnings, we can make sure to cover up and shield ourselves if they get worse. But, we're not there yet!

In the meantime, thanks for reading and making it this far. While you're thinking about solar storms, think about clicking the Vocal link below and becoming a member of Vocal Plus. For only $9.99 a month you can become a creator of premium content and be qualified to enter competitions worth thousands in prize money. Start writing today, tell your stories, share your visions for the world, and develop a passive income of your own.

References:

  • NOAA.Gov
  • NASA.Gov
  • Spaceweather.com
  • Space.com
  • NYPost
  • CNBC
  • History.com

Science

About the author

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.