The biggest solar storm in human history ‘blasted Earth for many days and caused fires’

Researchers have found evidence of the greatest known solar storm.

Experts believe they have identified the dates for a solar storm that was so powerful it surpassed the Carrington event of 1859.


Researchers have found evidence of the greatest known solar storm.Credit: Getty

This solar storm, which happened sometime between 774 and 775 CE, was Reportedly more than ten times as powerful as the Carrington event, according to a reportBig Think.

Experts have shared their accounts of the less-powerful Carrington solar storm to put this solar storm’s intensity in perspective.

People reported that they saw auroral display all over the world, some so bright, that newspapers could be read by them.

Telegraphs and other electrical systems started sparking fires even though they weren’t connected to any power.

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Many miners woke up in the middle of the night believing it was dawn.

The trees tell a story

While scientists have had an idea about the solar storm of 774 CE since 2012, they only recently found concrete evidence of it existence by analyzing tree rings. 

Every year, ancient cedar trees create a new set rings in their trunks that contain a kind of carbon footprint.

A tree that was growing during a severe sunstorm would have rings with significantly higher levels of C-14, which is an isotope carbon, if it were to be affected.

Researchers discovered that carbon-14 levels increased from 774 to 7.75 using a universal tree databank.

Ethan Seigal, reporting from Big Think, has expanded: “This ‘spike’ is about 20 times as large as any other natural variations that were seen to occur on year-to-year timescales, and was quickly confirmed to exist in other places around the world.”

“Other trees from around the world, including in Germany, Russia, New Zealand and even North America also showed this same spike, indicating that the carbon-14 spike was a worldwide phenomenon.”

These data indicate strong solar activity on a global level.

What are solar flares?

A solar flare is an explosion of high-energy radiation from a sun’s surface.

Solar flares that hit Earth’s magnetic field are known as’solar storms’.

This can create geomagnetic thunderstorms that impact our satellites or the power grid.

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Each solar storm that strikes Earth is rated by its severity.

Some cause radio blackouts and can pose a threat to astronauts on the ISS.


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