Scientists find evidence of past solar 'super-storms'


Sometimes, however - during events known as solar storms, caused by explosions on the sun's surface - this stream of particles turns into a deluge and breaks through that magnetic field. These "proton storms" can endanger people and electronics both in space and in the air.

According to the team, the cores recorded a very powerful solar storm occurring in 600 BCE. For example, in 1989, a solar outburst blacked out the entire Canadian province of Quebec within seconds, damaging transformers as far away as New Jersey, and almost shutting down US power grids from the mid-Atlantic through the Pacific Northwest. As such, they may not have good estimates of how often extreme solar eruptions happen or how powerful they can actually get.

"This was a high level of particle radiation, ten times more than has been observed in the last 70 years", Raimund Muscheler, of Lund University in Sweden, said. "If..." It should be noted that this solar storm that had hit the planet in the ancient period is one about 10 times stronger than any sun storm recorded in modern history.

Presently an enlarged amount of research portrays that solar storm can be even more robust than measurements have portrayed till now through undeviating inspection.

Researchers found radioactive elements buried beneath almost half a kilometre of ice in Greenland, which shows an "enormous" solar storm battered the planet in 660 BC. This sets off reactions that raise the production rate of radionuclides - unstable atoms with excess nuclear energy, which include carbon-14, beryllium-10, and chlorine-36. The cores come from Greenland and contain ice formed over the past about 100,000 years.

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They found traces of chlorine and beryllium isotopes in the ice from the deadly storm over 2,500 years ago. The researchers believe that society might not be sufficiently prepared if a similar event were to happen now. 775 and another in A.D. 994.

"There are high-energy solar energetic particle events, or solar proton events", Muscheler told Paul Rincon at BBC News.

Regarding number of high-energy protons, the 660 B.C. and the A.D.

He added: "We must increase protection against solar storms". It seems that this is the third event of this type which has been identified at this point. "There might be more that we have not yet discovered".

To learn more about SPEs, Lund University's Professor Raimund Muscheler and his colleagues from Sweden, France, Switzerland, Korea, the UAE, and the United States analyzed ice cores from Greenland. "The challenge will be to find the smaller ones that probably still exceed anything we measured in recent decades". The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.