Could a Solar Storm Spark a Global Blackout?
The sun shot out an explosive solar flare powerful enough to disrupt radio communications over Europe just in time for the Fourth of July.
Corey Powell, the editor in chief of Discover Magazine, joined America’s Newsroom and said that every 11 years, “the sun kind of goes a little bit crazy.” We’re headed into one of those ‘crazy’ periods now and during it, there will be more eruptions on the sun which create turbulent space weather.
When asked what, if anything, we should be concerned about, Powell said, “Technology allows us to get these incredible pictures of the sun. Technology is also what makes us vulnerable. We have satellites in orbit, we have power grids … All those things are sensitive to magnetic storms from the sun.”
He warned that “every once in a while, there’s a storm so big that it could cause essentially a global blackout.” While it doesn’t happen frequently and the hope is that satellites would provide advanced warning, Powell said, “Advanced warning only does so much if something that big hits.”