Image: Johns Hopkins

What’s New: A detailed discussion, not just about the Carrington Event, but also evidence of even more powerful events, and the possibility of them in the future.

Why It’s Important:

  •  Electrical grids certainly need too be reinforced and protected against such events.  Sub-sea cables also because they have electrical relays that can be impacted.
  • For the PNT community:
    • Satellites and signals can both be impacted by severe solar weather. While GPS and other GNSS satellites are hardened against radiation, the sun is incredibly powerful.
    • As new PNT systems are designed, the ability to withstand, or quickly shutdown and restart, must be mandatory features.

What Else to Know: From the article:

In addition, there is evidence that the sun may be capable of “superflares” that can unleash 10 times or more energy than the Carrington Event. For example, in a 2021 study in the Astrophysical Journal, scientists using NASA’s now-retired Kepler space telescope found that over the course of four years, 15 sun-like stars released 26 superflares packing a wallop up to 100 times greater than the Carrington Event. A 2020 study in the Astrophysical Journal found similar results during the first year of NASA’s ongoing TESS mission.