Solar storms and the particles they release result in spectacular phenomena such as auroras, but they can also pose a serious risk to our society. In extreme cases they have caused major power outages, and they could also lead to breakdowns of satellites and communication systems. According to a study published today in Nature Communications, solar storms could be much more powerful than previously assumed.
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1,000 years ago.
“If such enormous solar storms would hit Earth today, they could have devastating effects on our power supply, satellites and communication systems,” says Raimund Muscheler at the Department of Geology, Lund University.