A researcher in California is warning of a
possible 21st-century repeat of the 1859 "Carrington Event," in which
a huge solar storm disrupted telegraph communications around the world.
Could a coronal mass ejection like this one disrupt
internet infrastructurse here on Earth? One
researcher in California says yes.
(NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory photo)
Newsline reports that Professor Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi of the University of California at Irvine presented a paper in August at a meeting of the Association for Computer Machinery in which she suggests that severe solar storms could compromise the internet's version of repeaters in undersea cables that link networks on different continents. She warns that it is possible that some countries' internet systems could be cut off from the rest of the world for weeks at a time if such an event would occur … and she reported that astrophysicists predict the chances of that happening within the next decade are as high as 12%.