In 2012, Earth narrowly escaped solar blast so powerful it could ‘knock civilization back to 18th century’
Back in 2012, the Earth narrowly escaped a solar storm “big enough to knock modern civilization back to the 18th century,” according to a report published by NASA.
“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” University of Colorado Professor Daniel Baker said.
On July 23, 2012 a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) erupted from the sun at speeds as fast as 3,000 kilometres per second. That’s four times faster than a typical solar blast. The CME tore through Earth’s orbit and narrowly missed the planet, NASA said in a statement Wednesday. Instead it hit the STEREO-A spacecraft — a solar observatory that is “almost ideally equipped to measure the parameters of such an event,” NASA said.
If the solar storm had struck just one week earlier, “Earth would have been in the line of fire,” Baker said. He co-authored a study of the storm that…
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