What’s making waves on the internet now is that there is an internet apocalypse as a result of a magnetic eruption in the solar system causing a major solar storm. This became a burden on social media just after a study in 2021 titled “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse”.
This scientific research speculated that a particular major solar storm is capable of destroying internet cables especially those under the sea that powers the global internet. The research is yet to appear in a peer-reviewed journal as the data presented at a communication conference in 2021 still has to undergo several stages.
Since last week, there has been a significant increase in tension after misinformation that originated from false warnings from the American space agency about the Internet Apocalypse began to spread across the web. This spreading misinformation includes false claims regarding how the solar storm will cause global internet shutdown before 2040 and how NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launched in 2018 to study the sun and its weather from up close, will be able to save the internet from destruction by the solar storm.
Why NASA is yet to issue warnings about the trending ‘Internet Apocalypse’ amidst rising solar storm activity
NASA published an article in March about its attempt to forecast solar storms using Artificial Intelligence. The American space agency did not utter “Internet Apocalypse” in that article. However, the term was first mentioned in a 2021 study led by Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi. During a recent interview with the Washington Post, the scientist revealed that she regretted mentioning the phrase that is currently causing a buzz on the internet.
The Social Media fears are triggered by peer-reviewed research that was done earlier this year. This research shows that the sun may come to the climax of its current activity a year sooner than earlier predicted, which will be in 2024. According to scientists, we are to expect magnetic eruption in the solar system after solar activity skyrockets to its climax, but there is no backup that this prediction about the next major magnetic eruption will cause a major solar storm and destroy the internet.
This is because the effects of magnetic eruptions that cause solar storms on electric frameworks and communication systems are well recorded.
“It is good to be wary and perform continuous monitoring and evaluation of the sun-Earth system and the heliospheric system,” Vishal Upendran, a research associate at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in California told space.com. “However, more studies are needed to make any strong statements regarding the strength of solar storms,” he concluded.
Why there is no prediction by scientists about a deadly solar storm that will occur in 2025
There are no scientific backup predictions that a deadly solar storm will occur in 2025 despite several arguments about how the sun will destroy our planet.
Predicting the extent of damage, the solar storms will cause on Earth is highly challenging, according to Upendran. For instance, as the sun nears its peak of magnetic activity, structures on its surface become increasingly complicated, making them difficult to incorporate into models.
The solar flare generated by the sun is 3-d structures that communicate with Earth’s magnetic field system, which is also a 3-D structure, in ways that are difficult to model.
“These are complex systems, and it would be improper to make a strong statement on the occurrence of any superstorms,” Upendran told Space.com. He and his team have developed an artificial intelligence model that uses satellite data about solar wind to generate forecasts of solar storms up to 30 minutes before they happen. “The major strength of our model is that it can provide forecasts within seconds, and gives results every minute with a time horizon of 30 minutes,” he concluded.
The team of scientists believes that their model will offer a great warning for satellite operators, power framework managers, and telecommunication companies to take their systems offline for a short period or to migrate their satellites to safer orbits to reduce damage. These fascinating predictions could be helpful during the increased solar activity.
Official predictions coming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated that the massive solar event will occur in July 2025. At that time, the sun’s magnetic activity that gives rise to sunspots and solar flares will reach its peak strength. However, there are no official predictions of the damages solar storms might cause when the time comes.
Magnetic eruptions in the solar system are fascinating and powerful phenomena that have profound implications for Earth and other celestial bodies, it is necessary to understand their mechanisms and effects for safeguarding our technological infrastructures. What do you think about this forthcoming astronomical event?