Earth was hit by massive solar storm in ancient days, and it could happen again: Study

solar storm

A new research report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has revealed that a massive solar storm had hit earth around 2600 years ago. It should be noted that this solar storm that had hit the planet in the ancient period is one about 10 times stronger than any sun storm recorded in modern history.

Scientists revealed that the occurrence of such a massive solar storm in the modern day will create havoc in the planet and will disrupt technological infrastructure including communication and navigation.

Researchers who took part in this study made the discovery of the ancient solar storm after analyzing the Greenland ice cores. During the research, scientists found elevated levels of beryllium-10 and chlorine-36 isotopes embedded in the ice cores, and these radioactive atoms are usually considered the byproduct of solar storms.

As per the researchers who took part in this study, this gigantic solar storm is the third massive solar proton event (SPE) known to scientists, and the others occurred 1245 and 1025 years ago. After making this discovery, researchers revealed that these kinds of massive solar storms used to hit the earth more frequently than previously thought. However, more data is necessary to predict more reliable estimates regarding SPEs.

Apart from damaging the technological infrastructure, solar proton events could also damage the ozone layer that protects the earth from dangerous ultraviolet radiations. As the ozone layer depletes, living beings in the planet will face moderately bad effects, but it will not result in a mass extinction event.

It should be also noted that such a solar storm which may happen in the planet will pose several health risks to astronauts working at the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts at the ISS are not protected by the earth's atmosphere, and as a result, they will be more prone to developing ill effects caused by dangerous solar radiations.