The Sun could unleash huge superflares that would destroy much of the things we rely on for life on Earth, scientists have warned.
Huge flares of energy with the power of a billion one megaton nuclear bombs could destroy our communication and energy systems, they have said.
Scientists made the warning after seeing a huge superflare erupt from another star that looks alarmingly like our own Sun.
Occasionally, flares and other solar weather upset communications systems on Earth. But the effects are usually relatively limited, and can be recovered from. But the new study suggests that any potential superflare could cause
Flares happen when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released, causing a massive outburst of radiation.
Lead scientist Chloe Pugh, from the University of Warwick, said: “If the Sun were to produce a superflare it would be disastrous for life on Earth; our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large-scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids.”
She added: “Fortunately the conditions needed for a superflare are extremely unlikely to occur on the Sun, based on previous observations of solar activity.”
The superflare studied by the team occurred on (continue reading)