Internet Apocalypse: Could a Powerful Solar Storm Destroy the World Wide Web?

The internet apocalypse due to a powerful solar storm has been the subject of several fictional materials.

However, there is growing evidence in recent years that space weather has the ability to destroy Earth’s World Wide Web and the infrastructure that supports it.

Currently, scientists are aware that magnetic storms from the Sun can disrupt satellites orbiting our planet, as well as cause power outages.

The internet apocalypse

solar storm

(Photo: HO/AFP via Getty Images)

Live Science recently published an article and mentioned Becky Chambers’ 2019 short story “To Be Taught, If Fortunate” which depicts a massive solar storm wiping out the internet on Earth.

The fictional tale finds itself telling the story of a group of astronauts who find themselves stranded in space with no way to contact their home.

Matthew Owens, a solar physicist at the University of Reading in the UK, told Live Science that it would take a huge event for an internet apocalypse to happen.

Owens added that the removal of power grids is more likely, which has already happened on a small scale.

If this happens, a series of electrical and communication disruptions could occur, in addition to the theoretical doomsday scenario.

Read also : A massive solar flare can affect everyone’s electricity, phones, even the internet

What are solar storms?

Solar storms or space weather occur when the Sun of our solar system releases an intense burst of electromagnetic radiation.

The most well-known types of solar storms are solar flares, solar winds, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Also, some of the space weather hazards associated with these solar events are geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms, and radio blackouts.

Solar radiation storms occur when a large-scale magnetic flare, which often causes CMEs and solar flares, accelerates charged particles in the solar atmosphere to extremely high speeds, according to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). .

Solar Cycle 25

This emission occurs in relation to the solar activity of our star, which undergoes a phase of solar minimum and solar maximum according to the phase of its current 11-year solar cycle.

In our case, the Sun is now on its solar cycle 25, which began in December 2019.

An international team of experts assembled by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had previously predicted that the peak of the current cycle would be in 2025.

During this period, the frequency and intensity of solar storms are expected to increase.

Most Powerful Solar Storm

The Carrington event is considered the most intense geomagnetic storm in recorded human history.

It is said to have caused considerable damage to the technology we had at that time in 1859, including causing sparks and fires at several telegraph stations.

Now, while the Internet and the World Wide Web are still absent at this time, various theories have emerged on how the most powerful solar storm could knock out the Internet.

In March 2022, an article by The conversation quoted by shows that an unprecedented catastrophic magnetic storm could destroy the internet by causing power outages and disrupting a number of communications infrastructure connections.

In addition to the disruption of the Internet, telephones, radios and televisions dependent on satellites, Internet service offers could also drop due to the inability of various systems to communicate with each other.

Related article: Powerful ‘cannibalistic’ solar storms could cause global internet blackout, experts warn

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