In news- A research paper presented at the ACM SIGCOMM 2021 Conference recently noted that a powerful solar storm can cause an internet apocalypse, damage submarine cables and communication satellites.
About solar storm-
- A solar storm or a Coronal Mass Ejection, is an ejection of highly magnetised particles from the sun.
- These particles can travel several million km per hour and can take about 13 hours to five days to reach Earth.
- These eruptions, which comprise flares, prominences, sunspots can overwhelm the Earth’s atmosphere if they occur in sufficiently large quantities.
- The harmful particles of the solar storm can produce their own magnetic fields, which could modify the Earth’s magnetic field and affect compass readings.
- It could also dump particles in the Earth’s atmosphere that can cause an Aurora on the earth, like the Northern Lights.
- It could also produce massive electrical surges in power grids and induce electricity in long pipelines.
- The first recorded solar storm occurred in 1859 known as the Carrington Event, that led to compasses going haywire globally, while the Aurora Borealis were seen in Colombia, which falls near the equator.
- The new research has mentioned that a ‘Internet shutdown strategy’ can help minimise the connectivity loss during and after a solar storm impact.
- Modelling studies to understand how connectivity will be affected country-scale showed that the countries in the lower latitudes are at a much lower risk.