Home News Science A giant magnetic shield to protect the Earth from the Sun

A giant magnetic shield to protect the Earth from the Sun

How would this shield protect us from the terrible solar storms?


The solar flares pose a threat to our electricity infrastructure. We currently have a tremendous dependence on power grids and if these were affected by a massive fall, our day-to-day activity, as we know it, would suddenly cease. Hence the activity of the Sun is taken very seriously and mitigates its potential global effects, too. Now a team of scientists from the University of Harvard published a study proposing a bold solution: colocar a giant magnetic shield to protect Earth orbit.

In the event that the 1859 solar storm, also known as the Carrington event, took place today, it is estimated that it would cause global damage to electric power grids, satellite communications and global supply chains. Economic losses across the globe would amount to billions of dollars and recovering would cost us several years.

To calculate the damage, the researchers developed a simple mathematical model to assess the economic losses caused by the activity of solar flares over time. “We predict that within the next 150 years there will be an event that will cause damages comparable to the current GDP of the United States of 20 trillion dollars, and the damage will increase exponentially in later times until technological development is saturated,” the authors explain.

How to reduce the damage of energy particles?

With a magnetic shield. According to experts, the magnetic shield, placed between the Earth and the Sun (at the L1 point of Lagrange Earth-Sun), would weigh about 100,000 tons and would be able to divert the charged particles and create an artificial arc of shock around Earth; that is, it would protect Earth in a manner similar to that used by its magnetic field, but on a much larger scale.

According to their evaluation, such a shield is technically feasible in terms of basic physical parameters.

The cost of bringing the necessary infrastructure into space (100,000 tons) is likely to be $ 100 billion, much less than the expected damage over a period of time. Century, “says Abraham Loeb, co-author of the paper.
Scientists have ventured that in the course of billions of years, rocky planets orbiting near their suns would also be subject to regular solar flares that would make them lose their atmospheres. In this sense, the magnetic shields could be a possible solution for the creation of extra solar colonies.

It is an inevitable conclusion that as time and technology progress, the presence of humanity in space will also increase. As a consequence, the preparation for the most drastic weather events that the solar system can throw at us becomes inevitable. In addition, when asked if we are ‘alone in the Universe?’ It also makes sense to the detection in space of these protective shields could point the way to the extraterrestrial intelligence.



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