techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com March 20, 2019


Evidence of Enormous, 2600-Year-Old Solar Storm Found in Greenland

15 March 2019, 12:30 | Edward Lowe

Radioactive particles from huge solar storm found in Greenland

In this artist\'s conception of Earth\'s magnetosphere the orange and blue lines depict the opposite north and south polarity of Earth\'s field lines

The only account of a "super storm" striking Earth comes from more than 150 years ago - when a Victorian scientist, Richard Carrington, described an eruption known as "the Carrington event".

Luckily though, it was 660BC so that's where we were anyway.

A team of researchers has found traces an "enormous" solar storm in Greenland that struck ancient Earth around 2,600 years ago. They said that depending on the form it took, a repeat could cripple communications.

Raimund Muscheler, professor of geology at Lund University said that if that storm would have taken place today the aftermath could have been very serious on our high tech society.

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Although just the third storm of its kind has been identified so far, the scientists said this indicated that these major events had been underestimated, and must be urgently defended against.

The sun is constantly sending a stream of charged particles toward Earth via the solar wind.

Solar storms occur when massive bursts of energy hurtle from the Sun towards Earth. In the study, the team used two ice cores from Greenland and discovered that another giant solar storm took place around 660 BC.

"That's why we must increase society's protection again solar storms". This solar storm known as solar proton event (SPE) is about 10 times stronger than any recorded in modern history.

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For the past 70 years, researchers have studied these solar storms by direct instrumental observations, which has led to an understanding that they can pose a risk to the electrical grid, communication systems, satellites and air traffic. The cores come from Greenland and contain ice formed over the past about 100,000 years. Two examples of dire solar storms in recent times that engendered substantial power cuts occurred in Quebec, Canada (1989) and Malmö, Sweden (2003).

Researchers have also previously found similar events dated to 774-775 AD and 993-994 AD. During the research, scientists found elevated levels of beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 isotopes embedded in the ice cores, and these radioactive atoms are usually considered the byproduct of solar storms.

"We need to search systematically for these events in the environmental archives to get a good idea about the statistics - that is, the risks - for such events and also smaller events", Muscheler added.

"Even though these massive solar storms are rare, our discovery shows that they are a naturally recurring effect of solar activity", he added. The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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