A solar storm in 774 CE, known as the Miyake event, caused forest fires and was 10 times more intense than the Carrington event of 1859, As detailed in a study published in Nature Journal. Researchers analysed tree ring data to find evidence of the storm, which they say was not an isolated incident, but one of many that have hit Earth roughly every 1,000 years. While a spike in radiocarbon suggests a cosmic event, it does not prove the cause was a solar storm. A related study by a team from the University of Queensland reconstructed the global carbon cycle over 10,000 years to gain insight into the nature of the Miyake events.
As detailed in astronomers and geologists, the worst recorded solar storm in history is not the famous Carrington event of 1859. Instead, evidence suggests that in 774 CE, a solar storm hit the Earth and caused forest fires, in an incident known as the Miyake event. While scientists have not been able to definitively prove that this was caused by a solar storm, a recent study has found more conclusive evidence in support of this theory.
The study, published in the Nature Journal, analyzed tree ring data to investigate the existence of the Miyake event. The data revealed that the event took place between 774-775 CE and was estimated to be 10 times more intense than the Carrington event. The evidence was found in Cedar trees in Japan which all displayed a significant spike in carbon-14. The study also found that such solar storms have regularly occurred throughout history, with a gap of approximately 1000 years between each event.
Tree ring analysis has long been used by researchers to determine the age of major historic events. By examining the content of tree rings, researchers can identify any peculiarities that may indicate a significant event. However, a spike in radiocarbon does not necessarily confirm a solar storm – it could also be the result of a supernova explosion. This is where a study conducted by a team of researchers led by mathematician Qingyuan Zhang of the University of Queensland comes in.
The team modeled the global carbon cycle over a 10,000-year period to gain insight into the scale and nature of the Miyake event. However, many questions remain unanswered, such as the duration of these solar storm events and their correlation with Sun activity.
Despite these uncertainties, the data is enough to reveal the potential dangers of future solar storms. While the likelihood of such an event occurring in the near future is low, the consequences could be catastrophic. Power grids and communication systems could fail, leading to widespread blackouts and disruption. Governments and organizations must take steps to prepare for such an event and develop strategies to mitigate its impact.
To cap it all off, while the Carrington event may be the most famous solar storm in history, the Miyake event of 774 CE was far more intense and caused devastating effects on the planet. The evidence found in tree rings suggests that such events occur regularly and that we must be prepared for the potential consequences of future solar storms.