Can solar flares cause Internet to go down?
So yesterday our Internet has being going down and I saw on the news about two massive solar flares that hit earth. Could it effect my computer?
- John WLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
Solar flares are more likely to disrupt satellite communications. The Internet actually avoids satellites whenever possible because the 22,000 miles to a geosynchronous satellite and back imposes enough of a time delay that the bandwidth delay product slows the rate of data transfer to a crawl. The Internet always tries to use the major phone trunks ( not your modem lines but ATM lines ) whenever it can and these are much less likely to be affected by flares. Keep in mind that the Internet was designed to maintain communications after a nuclear attack.
I don't think your Internet problems were from flares, far more likely to be issues with your ISP.
- MariaLv 44 years ago
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No, the US government probably isn't lying to you; most folks in government are entirely ignorant of what a solar cycle is, and have a hard time understanding what NASA is saying. You're asking if NASA is lying to you. Well, if they are, then every last academic researching solar activity out there (and NASA does NOT have the monopoly) is also lying. This idea of solar flares causing the end of the world or destroying civilization has no scientific support at all. The notion that even the largest events could destroy all electronics is something which just surfaced in rather paranoid communities of the internet, only to go mainstream. Even the largest isn't going to destroy your cell phone, unless you have it hooked up to an antenna 10km long. In the worst case scenario, it can induce currents among long, above-ground power lines, pipelines, and other long, continuous metal objects. This basically mimics the effects of a short-circuit and can TEMPORARILY damage the power grid. So, it might necessitate temporarily shutting down sections of the power grid to prevent a few blown transformers. Oh. Of course NASA noticed a change in solar activity. Observers all over the world has. But, that's entirely in-line with what was expected for the solar maximum... if a bit overdue. Indeed, if anything is abnormal, it's that our Sun is LESS active than it usually is as the solar maximum approaches, and it had an abnormally long, deep minimum this cycle.
- CliveLv 76 years ago
If the solar flares were responsible, they would have knocked out far more than just the Internet - they'd have knocked out the electrical supply as well and probably fried your computer permanently. This is a reasonable question as solar flares do have the capacity to do that, and an eye is kept on them so we can "buckle down" if there's ever likely to be one big enough to break through the Earth's magnetic field, but if just the Internet goes down and everything else electrical is still working it won't be because of a solar flare.
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- Anonymous6 years ago
A solar flare is occurs when there is a huge build up of magnetic particles on the sun's surface and it basically exploded and particles are thrown throughout space. When a big enough solar flare occurs it can affect anything electronic on earth. There have been many instances where entire cities were without power because of them.
To answer your question; Yes solar flares can cause your internet to go out.Source(s): http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/flare.htm and Myself
- Enough TrollsLv 76 years ago
If a flare (or rather a Coronal Mass Ejection) was strong enough to knock over your internet it would have also knocked over ALL power distribution over a large area. So your local net problem is nothing to do with the sun.
- GeoffGLv 76 years ago
Probably not. The internet was _designed_ to have multiple redundancies built in for precisely that reason. Parts of the internet go down all the time for all sorts of reasons, but most of them nothing to do with solar activity.
- green meklarLv 76 years ago
It is possible, but it doesn't happen very often. The network is pretty robust by now, your packets will usually find alternative routes that are unaffected.