Monday , January 18 2021

Space storms can cause mass breaks and destroy computers, warns gov



Giant solar storms can cause power outages, destroy computers and reduce the Internet and all communications, according to a new study.

The Metropolitan Office told Britain's ministers that a kind of flare-up that struck the planet two or three times in 200 years would cost £ 16 billion in catastrophic damage.

Such bursts create intense magnetic fields on the planet which in a flash can burn delicate electronics and even set them on fire, the Sunday Times reported.

Click on the sun more

Britain may experience huge electrical disturbances caused by storms in space, unless a satellite network is built to locate them.

"We find that for one event in 100 years, without predictability of the weather in space, the loss of gross domestic product to the United Kingdom could reach £ 15.9 billion," the Metropolitan Office study said.

"With existing satellites nearing the end of their lives, predictability will decrease in the coming years, so if no further investment is made, critical infrastructure will become more vulnerable to the weather in space."

The report, in collaboration with scientists from the British Antarctic Survey, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory University of Cambridge said the UK should build an early warning system.

A network of satellites will monitor the sun and give at least a week to predict a solar flare.

The national network will then prepare its electricity grid and the government will warn computer users to switch off their devices.

The UK and other countries already have satellites doing this work, such as the Sun and the Heliospheric Observatory, launched in 1995 and the two twin solar solar observations expected (stereo) testing.

But because they have spent years in space exposed to intense radiation they will soon become ineffective.

Black Friday

In 1859, a huge solar flare shocked the brightness of the sun for a few minutes, followed by a wave of magnetism that caused powerful electrical currents across telegraph wires throughout Europe – igniting extensive fires.

As early as 1989 Quebec hit Canada and burned the electricity cables led to a huge black out.

Researchers fear such an event would burn high-voltage cables and substations across the UK.

The Cabinet Office recently updated its national emergency disaster plan to rate solar storms as one of the country's most serious natural hazards.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.


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