Solar flares are becoming more of a concern for the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom. The British agency is urging the government to create a Space Weather Board to deal with the looming threat of coronal mass ejection.
British scientists are warning United Kingdom officials that massive radiation ejection from the Sun could cause massive blackouts, “disrupt” GPS systems and airplanes, and take down one in every 10 satellites, Sky News reports.
Statistically speaking, a solar superstorm is likely to occur approximately every 100 to 200 years. In 1859, the Carrington Event was the last major coronal mass ejection, or solar storm. The Earth was bombarded with a wave of “energetic particles” and then a massive solar flare.
United Kingdom experts are warning the government that a massive coronal mass ejection is “inevitable” and the region needs to be better prepared. Royal Academy of Engineering chair Paul Cannon had this to say about a massive solar flare.
“Our message is don’t panic, but do prepare. A solar superstorm will happen one day and we need to be ready for it.”
The destruction caused by the Carrington Event primarily related to downed telegraph lines and fires springing from the most advanced technology of that era. Telegraph operators noted papers on their desks catching fire during the event. Bright and colorful auroras dotted the night skies around the globe after the Carrington Event solar flare.
Scientists at NASA and NOAA have predicted that, if a similarly powerful solar flare would occur today, the power grid would be extremely vulnerable. The dependency most of the world has on over-taxed power grids could cause a major lifestyle change and trillions of dollars in damage. A coronal mass ejection on that level could render vehicles useless as well.
Are you prepared for a massive solar flare to hit the Earth?
[Image Via: NASA]