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Solar storm will leave the Earth without the Internet: "NASA's statement" made a splash online, but in vain

Dmytro IvancheskulLife
Solar flares can be dangerous for the Earth, but they won't leave us without the internet. Source: NASA/collage by OBOZREVATEL

Social media has once again seen an epidemic of new sensationalist "NASA's statement" claiming that a powerful solar flare will leave humanity without the internet. Of course, no such statement actually exists, and the article is purely clickbait.

According to Space, the possibility that a powerful solar flare could damage undersea Internet cables was first discussed in a 2021 article "Solar Storms: Planning for the Internet Apocalypse".

It did suggest that such an incident was possible, but did not say that it was likely to happen in the near future. It should also be added that, despite the fact that the study was presented two years ago, it has never been published in a peer-reviewed journal. This suggests that researchers have some questions about the methods or conclusions of the study.

However, this does not prevent fans of hot sensations from retelling the article on behalf of NASA. The article, which has begun to circulate on the Internet, states that a super-powerful solar flare is expected in the next decade, which will cause a global Internet blackout.

NASA, of course, did not make any statements about the imminent "Internet apocalypse".

Most texts refer to an article published by the space agency in March about its efforts to predict solar storms using artificial intelligence. There is no mention of the Internet apocalypse. And the only scientific source to ever mention the term is the same 2021 article whose author, Sangeeta Abdu Jethi, recently told The Washington Post that she regretted using the phrase and that her work "has gotten too much attention."

While the sun may indeed reach its peak in the near future, there are no credible sources to suggest that it could leave people without internet.

Predictions that a solar flare could wipe out life on Earth are also untrue, as is the idea that such a deadly storm will occur in 2025.

Vishal Upendran, a researcher at Lockheed Martin's Solar Energy and Astrophysics Laboratory in California, explains that it is difficult to predict the severity of the damage that solar storms can cause to the Earth. According to him, both the processes on the Sun and their subsequent interaction with the Earth's magnetic field system are difficult to model.

"These are complex systems, and it would be wrong to make decisive statements about the occurrence of any superstorms," Upendran stressed.

The scientist and his team have developed an artificial intelligence model that uses satellite data on solar wind to create forecasts of solar storms 30 minutes before they occur.

"The main advantage of our model is that it can make predictions in seconds and gives results every minute with a time horizon of 30 minutes," the scientist said.

Such forecasts may be useful in the event of increased solar activity, which, according to official forecasts of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will occur in July 2025, when the Sun's magnetic activity, which causes sunspots and flares, will reach its peak.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL also told about the spread of fake news that scientists will establish contact with a parallel universe in the coming days.

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