The sun, the very thing that shines bright in the sky, giving us energy as it warmly touches our skin, can be the very thing that ends our existence. The sun emits all sorts of space weather in random directions, and every once in a while Earth gets caught in the crossfire.
When it does, the consequences are very dangerous. If it happens again and we’re not prepared, it could lead to a multitrillion-dollar disaster among other tragedies. As it turns out , this danger is in emanate, but are we ready for it?
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The First Solar Flare
Our technology has only been able to detect and understand solar flares since the 1800s. It all started when solar astronomer Richard Carrington observed a sudden “white light flare” with unprecedented brightness in 1859.
it lasted about five minutes but 18 hours later, the largest magnetic storm in recorded history happened on Earth. It was visible worldwide, including at the equator. Everyone was confused, even miners woke up in the middle of the night, thinking it was dawn. It was so bright you could read a night. Fires started spreading and telegraphs were sparking by themselves even though they were disconnected.
This became known as the first ever observed solar flare, a space weather event that we don’t wish to re-occur because if it does, we’re in big trouble.