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Tempeste solari ed elettricità globale

Global Electricity and the Internet at Risk of Chaos: It’s a Matter of Time

Electrical chain malfunctions, wiring connections, malfunctioning telephone systems, and damaged orbiting satellites. It’s not the plot of a new science fiction movie, but the scenario that can come true next solar storm. The most optimistic will immediately reply that there is nothing to worry about, because these events are all very rare.

Actually These storms should make us fear so much, especially if a specific situation arises. What experts fear is the so-called “Carrington event”. what is he talking about? To better understand why global electricity is at risk, we need to go back several years to the exact 19th century.

A solar or geomagnetic storm that one looks on anxiously is the one that wreaked havoc in the distant past 1859. It was September and all telegrams in the world stopped working for many hours. The electrical devices behaved in a unique way, even with no batteries connected, not to mention the famous aurora borealis that was visible even in unimaginable places. The episode name was changed to “Carrington Event” for a very specific reason. On September 1, 1859, during a clear morning, Richard Carrington He was busy observing the Sun with a telescope, and he immediately realized that something was wrong.

red sky

Blind lights formed in some sunspots, brighter than the sun itself. This phenomenon did not last long, but the global electricity was negatively affected, and then the next day the world’s sky turned red. The lights that Carrington noticed were nothing but torchesthat is, magnetic eruptions on the surface of the Sun, from which Solving one of the main puzzles is getting closer and closer. Two days like the one in 1859 to say the least of our time is chaos It’s not as far off as the hypothesis. The event just described took place not only in the nineteenth century.

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Other episodes from the past

Similar episodes are also found in 774 after Christ and even in 993 after Christ, albeit in an “abbreviated version”. On average, the phenomenon that threatens global electricity recurs once every half a thousand years, with More or less serious consequences, depending on the situation. A situation like today’s Carrington event could lead to a general and sudden outage of the power grid, with a great waste of resources, especially from an economic point of view. Forms of communication, as we know them today, would be useless, first and foremost the Internet.

GPS will become useless, not to mention the devices we use every day like Radio and television. There is no set date on which all this could happen, even if experts spoke of a “matter of time”. The scenario is not at all promising: global blackouts may last several weeks, while other systems may be damaged for much longer. The researchers’ goal is to study new ways to protect electrical systems from the effects of solar storms, for example The latest NASA studies Which highlighted interesting news about what is happening on our star.