Scientists warn devastating solar storms could disable communications, electronics
Scientists are warning of the devastating impact that extreme solar storms could have here on Earth by knocking out our communication systems and disrupting electronics – possibly for years. Solar storms are the eruptions of mass and energy from the surface of our sun. The sudden release of huge amounts of magnetic energy from the solar storms can collide with Earth’s own magnetic field.
"Once systems start to fail, [the outages] could cascade in ways we can't even conceive," said Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, EurekAlert reports.
Particularly powerful solar storms could wreak havoc in myriad other ways, such as corroding water and sewer pipes, and ruining computer memory as well as damaging other important electronics.
The effects could also be serious for astronauts at work in space, exposing them to high levels of radiation beyond their permissible exposure levels within hours of a powerful solar storm.