The sun unleashed its second X-flare in less than three days — and we should brace for more such activity.
Earth faces various dangers from the cosmos, but the primary cosmic threats are asteroid (meteor) impacts, solar flares and cosmic rays.
Space rocks can collide with our planet, causing significant damage and potential extinction-level events. While many asteroids are small and burn up in the atmosphere, larger ones can pose a serious threat to life on Earth. Scientists closely monitor near-Earth objects to assess the risk of impact and develop strategies to mitigate this danger.
Solar flares are another cosmic danger that can impact Earth. These intense bursts of radiation from the Sun can disrupt communication systems, satellites, and power grids on our planet. Solar flares have the potential to cause widespread power outages and disrupt our technology-dependent society. Monitoring solar activity and developing early warning systems are crucial in preparing for and minimizing the impact of these cosmic events.
In addition to asteroid impacts and solar flares, Earth is also vulnerable to cosmic rays. These high-energy particles originate from sources such as supernovae and black holes in outer space. While our atmosphere provides some protection against cosmic rays, astronauts in space and high-altitude travelers are at greater risk of exposure. Long-term exposure to cosmic rays can have harmful effects on human health, including an increased risk of cancer and genetic mutations.