A large expulsion of plasma and magnetism from the Sun has been spotted in satellite data. The explosion is known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) and occurs when magnetism becomes unstable on the surface of the star at the centre of our solar system. The CME was spotted by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, with some claiming the ejection looks like the Doomsday Machine from Star Trek.
The Doomsday Machine was a mechanical monster in space, which had a large circular opening and a long, faint tail.
Astronomy site Space Weather said: “A Doomsday Machine-shaped coronal mass ejection (CME) rocketed away from the sun during the early hours of October 24.
“It will not hit Earth. The source of the blast was a filament of magnetism near the sun’s northeastern limb, which became unstable and exploded.”
If the storm had hit Earth, it would have likely resulted in auroras in the northern or southern pole.
Auroras are created when a stream of magnetic particles hit Earth’s magnetic shield which deflects it.
As the particles are deflected, they create a stunning green and blue light-show in the upper or lower echelons of the planet.
This makes it difficult for satellite signals to penetrate it, potentially leading to a lack of GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV such as Sky.
On top of this, a surge of particles can lead to high currents in the magnetosphere, which can lead to to the power grid becoming overwhelmed and blowing.
Rarely does an event such as this happen, with the last one coming in 1859 when a surge in electricity during what is now known as the Carrington Event, was so strong telegraph systems went down across Europe.
There are also reports some buildings set on fire as a result of the electrical surge.
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However, another major solar storm could occur, which has led researchers to urge policymakers to invest in better infrastructure to observe our host star.
A recent study from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Russia, said: “A major solar storm could shut down electricity, television broadcasts, the internet, and radio communications, leading to significant cascading effects in many areas of life.
“According to some experts, the damage from such an extreme event could cost up to several trillion dollars and the restoration of infrastructure and the economy could take up to 10 years.
“Thus, understanding and forecasting the most hazardous extreme events is of prime importance for the protection of society and technology against the global hazards of space weather.”
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World news – GB – Doomsday machine-like explosion seen booming from the Sun