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The increased interest among scientists regarding the potential consequences of the upcoming Solar Maximum in the current solar cycle.
- The Sun is set to reach the Solar Maximum in the next two years of the current solar cycle.
- Heightened interest among scientists regarding the potential impact on Earth.
- Possibility of disruption to large-scale communication infrastructure and the "internet apocalypse."
- Lack of comment from NASA on the possibility of an internet outage caused by a solar storm by 2025.
What is the Solar Maximum?
- Period of peak solar activity with the strongest and most disordered magnetic field.
- Solar cycles last around 11 years, and the solar maximum occurs roughly in the middle of each cycle.
- Increased solar activity during the solar maximum can cause large-scale solar storms, eruptions, and flares.
- Potential impacts on Earth: disruption of radio communications, power grid, internet, and health risks for astronauts.
- Unlikely for individuals on Earth to experience direct effects of the solar maximum
Internet Apocalypse Concerns
- Uncertainty surrounding the potential impact of the 2025 solar storm on the global internet.
- Historical examples: Carrington Event of 1859 caused telegraph line disruptions, 1989 solar storm disrupted the Quebec power grid.
- The Washington Post report highlights valid concerns about the impact on Earth's interconnected infrastructure.
- Lack of experience with extreme case events and unknown response of infrastructure.
- Computer science professor, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, mentions the term "internet apocalypse" in her research.
- Severe solar storms can damage undersea communication cables, leading to long-distance connectivity interruptions.
- Potential economic impact: reports suggest more than $11 billion in losses in a single day for the US alone.
Q) Consider the following statements about Solar Maximum:
Select the correct statements using the codes below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2