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Deadly Solar Flares: Time-lapse Video Of Massive Solar Explosions

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This timelapse video was created from images taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory.

These incredible bursts of solar flares from the sun’s surface look spectacular but they can pose a danger to us here on earth.

Flares are closely associated with the ejection of plasmas and particles through the Sun's corona into outer space; flares also copiously emit radio waves. If the ejection is in the direction of the Earth, particles associated with this disturbance can penetrate into the upper atmosphere (the ionosphere) and cause bright auroras, and may even disrupt long range radio communication.

On July 23, 2012, a massive, potentially damaging, solar storm (solar flare, coronal mass ejection and electromagnetic radiation) barely missed Earth In 2014, Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc. published a paper in which he attempted to calculate the odds of a similar solar storm hitting Earth within the next 10 years, by extrapolating records of past solar storms from the 1960s to the present day. He concluded that there may be as much as a 12% chance of such an event occurring

What if earth was hit by a giant solar flare?

Extreme solar storms pose a threat to all forms of high-technology. They begin with an explosion--a "solar flare"—in the magnetic canopy of a sunspot. X-rays and extreme UV radiation reach Earth at light speed, ionizing the upper layers of our atmosphere; side-effects of this "solar EMP" include radio blackouts and GPS navigation errors. Minutes to hours later, the energetic particles arrive. Moving only slightly slower than light itself, electrons and protons accelerated by the blast can electrify satellites and damage their electronics. Then come the CMEs, billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma that take a day or more to cross the Sun-Earth divide. Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn't even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.

After a great solar flare in 1859 telegraph operators discovered that currents from the intense aurora borealis was flowing through their systems causing their telegraph keys to melt and stick in position.

One of the best-known examples of space weather events is the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power network on March 13, 1989 due to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). Caused by a transformer failure, this event led to a general blackout that lasted more than 9 hours and affected over 6 million people. The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a CME ejected from the sun on March 9, 1989.

After a great solar flare in 1859 telegraph operators discovered that currents from the intense aurora borealis was flowing through their systems causing their telegraph keys to melt and stick in position.



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