What would happen if a solar flare hit the Earth? Extreme ultraviolet light streams out of an X-class solar flare as seen in this image captured on March 29, 2014, by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image blends two wavelengths of light: 304 and 171 Angstroms, which help scientists observe the lower levels of the sun's atmosphere. (NASA)
What would happen if a solar flare hit the Earth?
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You asked us. What would happen if a solar flare hit the Earth?
 
Let's be really picky about it. A solar flare can't hit the Earth. It's an eruption on the surface of the sun. But a big flare can send a solar super storm flying towards earth. It could blast us back into the days before electricity. 

It's hard to describe how much scary stuff comes out of a solar super storm. There are hot gasses moving at near light speeds. There is deadly radiation. There are insane magnetic fields. You name it.
 
We had a taste of a pretty big solar storm back in 1859. It knocked out the entire telegraph system in the U.S.  And it literally threw some of the operators out of their seats. 

Fast forward to today. We're so completely dependent on technology. That means things could get really ugly. A storm as powerful as the 1859 version will probably fry a lot of satellites. And it could take down our electrical grid. Millions of people could be without light. They be without water. They could be without fuel and sewage treatment. They could also be without fresh food and medications. This could last for months.
 
And not to mention money. Your cash machine will be useless. 

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What does the author mean by "fast forward to today?"
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (40)
  • william1108-yyca
    8/27/2015 - 09:29 p.m.

    WOW! The solar flare looks so cool! But I never knew how it looks like. IT is my first time seeing one. But getting hit by those things gives you no water food and medication. I would not like that to happen.

  • zed-eri
    9/10/2015 - 05:32 a.m.

    It is scary.

  • chue-eri
    9/10/2015 - 06:02 a.m.

    Oh, what a scary one is it ! It would better if we can figure out the ways to protect that cruel eruption but it is not an easy one. We have to think more and more and have to hold meetings or forums to discuss about that problem. If we try the best, we can probably find out the solutions to this .

  • kristine-eri
    9/10/2015 - 06:06 a.m.

    The author by "fast forward to today" is "Quickly moving towards the goals starting from today."

  • zue-eri
    9/11/2015 - 05:57 a.m.

    I think it means "move speedily forward in time".

  • vens-eri
    9/11/2015 - 06:08 a.m.

    The author mean , we should start now to protect our earth to be beautiful in the future , and for next generations.

  • lynn-eri
    9/13/2015 - 11:55 p.m.

    The author was telling about an incident that happened in 1859 and explaining the effects of solar storm. Then he wanted to talk about nowadays but he had to skip many years. So in order to mention that he skipped many years and then he would be talking about today, he used the phrase " fast forward to today".

  • chloe-eri
    9/14/2015 - 03:57 a.m.

    The "fast forward to today?" mean we should really start from now to protect the earth for the future.

  • emily-eri
    9/14/2015 - 06:00 a.m.

    I think its mean that we have to move faster forward technology . If we don't , we are gonna die by solar flare.

  • stella-eri
    9/16/2015 - 04:13 p.m.

    The author means by ''fast forward to today that we're so competely dependent on technology.So, we should protect our earth in future.

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