Can the Sun leave us without Internet?

Despite his relative youth, The Internet has become an essential element in many aspects of our lives.. At work, in our spare time, when interacting with other people, to search for information… If we look back to just 25 or 30 years ago, we can remember how different everything was and, consequently, value the impact that the network of networks has had on our lives in little more than two decades. Two decades, which in the whole of the history of modern society and its evolution, is little more than a sigh.

If you have been following us for some time, you will already know the specials that we publish at the end of the year, in which the members of the editorial team choose the highlights of the year in different areas. Specifically, in the best series of 2022, I chose Blackout, from Movistar+, a plausible fiction in which a particularly strong current of solar wind ends, with a stroke of the pen, electricity and communications, plunging us into a darkness that is bleak and terrifying.

When referencing said series, I mentioned that a few weeks before one of these solar winds had hit our planet causing radio blackouts in the shortwave band that affected a large part of the South Pacific, including a large part of Australia and all of New Zealand. Now, could a phenomenon of this type, but on a larger scale, cause all or part of the consequences that we could see in the blackout? Well, that is one of the reasons why I liked the series so much, and that is that the answer is yes.

Can the Sun leave us without Internet?

As we can read in Chron, the possibility of a large-scale Internet blackout due to solar activity was already raised in 2021 by Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, a computer expert at the University of California, who estimated a 1.6% to 12% chance of an internet blackout “for months” at some point in the next decade. And yes, you have read correctly, we are not talking about a specific cut, of minutes or even hours, its forecast speaks of months of global Internet disruption. Said publication estimates the daily economic losses, only in the United States, at 7,000 million dollars.

We are not talking about a minor theory, about something that should not be taken into account. Quite the contrary, the solar currents They are a phenomenon studied by science for quite some time now. Fortunately, some research such as the one carried out by NASA can be of great help when it comes to better understanding the threat, so that we are able to reduce its impact as much as possible.

The Parker Solar Probe, of which we have already spoken to you on previous occasions, is the man-made object that has come closest to the Sun, and thanks to the data it has collected in its approaches to the center of our solar system, the Scientists have obtained a lot of tremendously useful information about the solar winds. Thus, the scientific community affirms that we are already close to having what is necessary to identify a burst of this type early, which would allow us to prepare in the best way. Perhaps this could reduce internet outage time from months to days, maybe even hours. But what seems clear is that sooner or later it will end up happeningand that we better be prepared.

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