Science fiction novels and films have long since predicted that solar storms will end life as we know it on our planet. We’ve dismissed these assumptions thus far because our Sun has always been gentle and kind, even when it threw the odd solar storm our way. All the solar storms that we’ve seen thus far have been bearable, but things are changing, and not in a good way. It now seems that these phenomena have gotten way more dangerous due to a change in their pattern of occurrence.
Until recently, we knew that solar storms dispelled through the Universe and our Earth’s atmosphere under the form of bubbles, which reacted to our atmosphere as singular objects and were successfully kept under control. But this has changed and now solar storms occur in cloud or sneeze form. Yep, the Sun is literally sneezing torrid chunks of death on us. That’s not a pretty image, is it?
Deadly Solar Sneezes
These are also known as coronal mass ejections, and they speed through our Solar System at a whopping speed of 2000 kilometers or 1200 miles per second. They are made up of charged gas and magnetic flux that erupt from active Sun spots on the star’s surface. If solar activity is at peak on Earth, the outcome of these eruptions can be noticed on our planet every few hours, which is certainly not pleasant.
Once the Sun sneezes these things up, it takes them between one and three days to get to us. And if things aren’t that bad here on Earth because of them, in space the situation is different. These aggressive sneezy storms can fry power grids and communications up in space and even give astronauts cancer due to the radiation they disperse. Yikes!