Spectacular solar storms that shaped our history

Solar storms are very frequent but some severe ones affected the earth. So, which one were they? Read on to know more

Did you know that everyday solar storms which include phenomena such as CMEs, solar flares, and suns spots erupt from our sun to space? Well, we bet you didn’t. But when these storms travel towards the earth and come in a radius of 94-million-mile distance to the earth, then it causes some concerns. These flares can prove quite disastrous to us as they can result in radiation exposure, communication blackout, and many damaged power grids. At the same time, these solar storms can also result in some of the most spectacular auroral displays all over the world. Here are some of the massive solar storms known ever to mankind.

The Carrington event of the year 1859

This cosmic event was named after Richard Carrington, one of the two astronomers who thoroughly documented and witnessed it on 28th August 1859, the solar flare event. It is believed that the Carrington event is one of the biggest space weather disturbances ever recorded. Such was the severity of the superflares that it went on to trigger a geomagnetic storm that dispensed almost 5% of the earth’s protective Ozone layer. It also went on to supercharge electric currents in the telegraph wires all over the world. According to NASA, the event was so powerful that its energy could have satisfied the world’s global energy of hundreds of thousands of years.

The Cold War Solar flare of 1967

At the peak of the cold war, a solar storm was about to change American history. According to a recent paper published in the journal space weather, this led to the breakdown in all the radio communications and the radars. The US force was about to attack Russia, who they believed was behind this breakdown when the space weather forecasters alerted the concerned authorities about the solar flares and the potentiallydisruptivebehaviour that comes with it.

The massive solar flares of August 1972

In the year 1972, around August, space flares named X20 severely affected thespace regions near the moon and the earth. This massive storm’s storm clouds reached the earth in a record time of 14.6 hours which ordinarily takes about 2 to 3 days. It interrupted TV signals and even detonated some mines during Vietnam War.

The most recent solar storm was in the year 2017 which disrupted radio frequencies for up to eight hours.

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