A coronal mass injection is most likely one of the biggest threats we as humans on earth have to a civilization-ending disaster that many people don’t even know about. It would come from space, occur suddenly and the results would be devastating.
The sun emits CME’s regularly, and they hit the earth every few hundred years. The last time this occurred was in the 1890s, but society as a whole at that time was less susceptible to the effects because the technology wasn’t as advanced as it is today and we really didn’t rely on it so much. Consider this, right now you are sitting on some form of mobile device most likely reading this. You did online banking, ordered food and clothes online, and have your entire history available online on some kind of a device. In the 1890’s you had a friend of a friend that lived 30km’s down the road that you saw by accident when you went to the market.
A coronal mass ejection is a significant release of plasma and accompanying magnetic field from the Sun’s corona into the solar wind. CMEs are often associated with solar flares and other forms of solar activity. When the ejection is directed towards Earth and reaches it as an interplanetary CME, the shock wave of traveling mass causes a geomagnetic storm that may disrupt Earth’s magnetosphere, compressing it on the day side and extending the night-side magnetic tail.
Let’s say a CME was to hit the earth today, it would basically destroy all the tech infrastructure on whichever side of the planet that is facing the sun at that time.
This would knock out the affected hemispheres back into dark or rather dumb ages, and it would take that hemisphere decades to recover, altering the global balance of power forever.
Imagine China being taken out by a CME, the devastation it would cause across the world but at the same time, who would then step up to replace this powerhouse of a nation in the world’s economic and technological infrastructures?
What about world wars? While an enemy could be left completely in the dark, many nations could infiltrate and take over said nations, resulting in a whole new way of life which is most likely not going to be for the better of the human species.
This is only a matter of time before something like this will occur. We could potentially mitigate the effects, but realistically that would be ridiculously expensive so we haven’t and most likely never will do anything about it. At least not until the problem becomes real to people, but by then it will be far too late.
Stay Curious! Stay Blessed!
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