Solar storm in 2023 can be as DANGEROUS as scary Carrington event; Will Earth survive? | Tech News

Solar storm in 2023 can be as DANGEROUS as scary Carrington event; Will Earth survive?

Astronomers have found that the solar disturbance intensity in Solar Cycle 25 looks set to beat a 90 year record. As such, it can even reach Carrington event levels, which caused the devastating solar storm of 1859.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Apr 08 2023, 09:16 IST
geomagnetic storm
Can the Earth witness a solar storm as strong as the Carrington event this year? Find out. (Pixabay)

Today, the Sun is quiet. After a long period of continuous and regular solar activity, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has revealed that the solar disturbance levels are expected to stay low today, April 8 and chances of a solar storm event is next to none. But, if you have been following space weather in 2023, you will know that this is a rare break amid a series of destructive events. The Earth has suffered damage from multiple X-class solar flare eruptions, one G4-class and multiple G3-class geomagnetic storms and solar wind onslaught. But now, astronomers are finding out that the solar activity in the Solar Cycle 25 is reaching an unprecedented level. Even a Carrington event level solar storm cannot be kept out of the question.

Yesterday, April 7, Scott McIntosh, the deputy director of National Center for Atmospheric Research, posted a series of tweets to highlight how the solar disturbance levels have sky-rocketed since 2021. He posted multiple graphs containing insightful data to help just how intense the Solar Cycle 25 was.

Can the Earth witness a Carrington event level solar storm?

He posted the annual average Kp/Ap index scores between 1932 to 2022. For the unaware, Kp Index is a measure of geomagnetic activity in the Earth's atmosphere in real time. The Ap Index is a daily average of the geomagnetic activity derived from K-value every 3-hours to present a more linear understanding of solar activity.

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The data highlighted that the Kp/Ap index scores in 2022 were reaching an all time high since 1932. If the trend continues, and given the fact that the peak of the Solar Cycle 25 is expected in late 2024 or early 2025, there is a good chance that the solar activity this year can break a 90-year record.

But what does that mean for us? In short, more dangerous solar storms. While the current levels are still some way off from the Carrington event intensity in 1859, there is a possibility that we may get there before the Sun hits its peak. If that does happen, a devastating G5-class geomagnetic storm can definitely impact the Earth.

The result? If we did suffer a solar storm, the intensity could be strong enough to potentially damage satellites, break down mobile networks and internet services, cause power grid failures and corrupt sensitive ground-based electronics.

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First Published Date: 08 Apr, 09:15 IST
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