Despite what many headlines have said, there is no internet apocalypse on the horizon.
Concerns about such a long-running catastrophe began spreading across social media platforms not long after a 2021 study titled “Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse” suggested a major solar storm could severely damage internet wires. , especially those submarines that connect continents and help power the global internet. (The study was presented at a data reporting conference in 2021, but has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.)
Last week, disinformation based on fictitious NASA warnings breathed new life into those “internet apocalypse” concerns that are once again burgeoning online. They include unsubstantiated claims about an impending solar storm that will trigger a global internet outage within the next decade and how NASA Parker solar probelaunched in 2018 to study the sun and its climate up close, can save the internet “from death by solar storm.”
Here are three debunked falsehoods that have gone viral on social media channels like YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram.
Related: Solar flares: what are they and how do they affect the Earth?
NASA has not issued any warning about an internet apocalypse
The current panic is fueled by a non-existent warning from NASA about an impending “internet apocalypse”.
Most falsehoods relate to an article released by the space agency in March about its efforts to predict solar storms using artificial intelligence. In that article or elsewhere on its website, NASA did not use the phrase “internet apocalypse.” Instead, it was born from the same study of 2021, whose only author, Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, recently he told the Washington Post that she regretted using the phrase and that her paper “got too much attention”.
Online fears are also magnified by peer review research from earlier this year which showed that the sun could reach its current peak of activity in 2024, a year earlier than previously expected. While scientists do expect large solar storms to occur after solar activity reaches its peak, there is no evidence to support the viral rumors that the next large solar storm will cause the internet to go offline.
The effects of large solar storms on power grids and communication systems are Well documented, so it’s “good to be cautious and do continuous monitoring and evaluation of the Sun-Earth system and the heliospheric system,” Vishal Upendran, a research associate at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in California, told Space.com. . However, “more studies are needed to make strong claims about the strength of solar storms,” he added.
Scientists did not predict a deadly solar storm in July 2025
Despite a myriad of claims about how the sun could kill the planetthere are no scientific predictions that a deadly solar storm will occur in 2025.
Predicting the severity of damage solar storms could cause to Earth is tricky, according to Upendran. For example, as the sun approaches its peak magnetic activity, the structures on its surface become increasingly complicated, making them difficult to incorporate into models.
Furthermore, solar flares emitted by the sun are 3-D structures that interact with those of the Earth magnetic field system, which is also a 3-D structure, in ways that are not fully understood and therefore difficult to model.
“These are complex systems and it would be improper to make a strong statement about the occurrence of any superstorms,” Upendran told Space.com. He and his team have developed a artificial intelligence model which uses satellite solar wind data to generate predictions of solar storms up to 30 minutes before they occur. “The main strength of our model is that it can provide predictions in seconds and delivers results every minute with a 30-minute time horizon,” she said.
The team hopes their model will provide enough notice for satellite operators, power grid operators and telecommunications companies to take their systems offline temporarily or to move satellites to safer orbits to reduce damage, if possible.
Such predictions could be useful during the increase in solar activity, which official forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimate will occur in July 2025. At that time, the sun’s magnetic activity that gives rise to sunspots and flares solar storms will reach its maximum intensity, but there are no official estimates of the damage solar storms could cause when that time arrives.
Parker Solar Probe Isn’t a Distraction to ‘The Great Reset’
Misinformation has also been circulating that NASA is using its Parker Solar Probe mission to save the internet as a front to support The Great Reset, which began as a global policy initiative by the World Economic Forum to help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 19 but has since been woven into countless conspiracy theories.
“That means we are unable to connect with each other, we are unable to call each other, we are unable to go on the internet and much more,” one person said in a viral Facebook video, according to a fact – called control service PolitiFact.com. “But that also means they can do the Great Reset silently without anyone knowing.”
The video was flagged by Facebook for fake news and has since been removed.
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Image Source : www.space.com