Is El Paso Prepated for the ‘Internet Apocalypse?’
Are we all going to get digitally wiped out by a massive solar storm? It's the latest trendy scare on social media, creating a mix of true anxiety and viral misinformation.
According to Washington Post, solar tantrums/ flares, while uncommon, are no fairy tale.
And with the Sun poised to hit its super active 'solar maximum' in 2025, the internet doomsday fears are hotter than ever.
Here's the nerdy explanation: a Godzilla-scale solar storm could certainly send the internet into a deep freeze by zapping critical infrastructure like submarine communication cables.
That's bad news since a chunk of the web's backbone is chilling underwater in the northern latitudes, the most frequent site of solar storms.
A severe storm could black out the internet for months, translating into an $11 billion loss in the U.S. alone for each internet-free day, according to the number-crunchers at NetBlocks.
UC Irvine’s computer science professor Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi is the one who coined the term 'internet apocalypse' in her 'end-of-the-worldly,' scientific paper on the subject.
She's regretting it now because of the fear, anxiety, and sense of powerlessness the term has induced in the public and especially on social media.
Guess what? Turns out, it's not really the job of us normal folk to prepare for a digital disaster.
That's a joy for governments and big corporations to handle.
And thanks to NASA's Parker Solar Probe, we've new insights about the Sun's moody physics.
Despite not directly studying solar storms, it's throwing light on 'magnetic reconnection', the birthplace of solar winds.
Yet, experts like Stuart D. Bale, a NASA researcher, aren't losing any sleep over it. Chill, everyone.
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org
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