A coronal mass ejection (CME) from a solar superstorm is a major threat to the security of the internet and could cause problems for weeks or even months.
The amazing Northern Lights could be a sign of what Professor Peter Becker of George Mason University calls a “internet apocalypse,” which could happen because the sun is working harder.
Becker thinks that a new age of solar storms could threaten important global technologies, like the internet, on which modern society depends so much. Fox Weather says Becker’s group wants to make a system that will tell people about solar dangers.
The US Navy reacted quickly by giving the university a large grant of $13.6 million to work together on a project to build an early warning system. The United States alone could lose up to $20 billion every day because of this kind of chaos.
CMEs can mess up the Earth’s magnetic field, which can cause electrical currents to flow through the ground and hurt electronics, power lines, and satellites.
The last big CME event happened in 1859 and damaged the telegraph system. Today’s technologies are much more likely to be damaged. Scientists are working harder to detect and protect against CMEs because the sun is expected to be more active over the next ten years.
Concerns about how fragile modern electronics are have led to study into ways to make the internet system stronger so it can handle damage better.