On May 10, 2020, the Sun erupted with a ball of M8.7 class flare. This is the biggest solar storm radiation since 2003. This revives a pocket for potential second waves of a geomagnetic storm in space. However, this can be very similar to the one in 1921. Back then the solar storm started on May 12 and ended on May 15, 2020, after causing major damage to our planet. It is till now the largest and most powerful solar storm of the 20th century. The solar event took place on May 12, 1921, after a massive sunspot, AR1842 flared up.
The explosion sent out coronal mass ejections (CME) directly to our planet. This actually ats as an EMP attack throughout the surface, as people start losing connection over any network or electronic devices. The phenomenon mainly causes disruptions in power and electricity. Several parts of Earth experienced different issues due to the storm.
Geomagnetic Solar Storm: 99th anniversary
On its way to complete the 99th anniversary, this week the Solar Storm might reappear soon. In 1921, many countries across the world faced disruptions in telephone and telegraphic communications. The solar flares messed with the Earth’s magnetic field which caused many interferences with power and electricity lines. Throughout the world, all countries experienced similar issues due to the geomagnetic storm. Many powerlines and telegraph facilities caught fire due to disruptions and sudden spike in electricity.
In the 21st Century, our planet is way more advanced. But, through this advancement, we have become more dependent on electronic devices. A full out solar storm in the current times will be very disastrous for our planet. So what will happen if the May 1921 storm hits today? It will lead to all of the impacts outlined in the 2013 Royal Academy of Engineering report led by Paul Cannon.
Astronomers believe that we are safe for the time being. But the solar storm may be back to haunt us next year in its 100th anniversary. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.