On August 1st the sun was a fiery explosion of activity as usual. But on this day the sun actually erupted across 50% of its surface sending out more energy than every fire ever lit on Earth throughout its history. As billion ton clouds of gas shot out from the sun’s surface NASA scientists scrambled to get accurate readings from sensory equipment. And they knew that August 1st 2010 would go down in history as one of the most important days for Solar Activity for quite some time. It became known as “The Great Eruption.”
What does this mean for scientists here on Earth? For one thing, predicting future events is about to get a whole lot more complicated. Rather than focusing on the intensity of only a few events localized on its surface, scientists predict that mathematical models will have to take into consideration the entire surface of the sun. And these same events can be used to predict future erruptions once the simulations are fed into a properly accurate and powerful enough simulator. The problem? Such a simulation would require more processing power than we are currently capable of displaying. In addition to the impact of such an incredible display of fiery potential, we would have to calculate the workings of what was going on behind the scenes in order to properly predict the interactions between the systems.
But what would the benefits of such an accurate analysis be? If we could predict the precise fluctuations going on within the Earth and begin charting it, then we were able to chart the forces on Earth in the form of winds, evaporation, clouds, and geological activity, combined with the movements of the sun, we may for the first time have a truly predictive weather pattern worked out and be able to predict weather conditions weeks or even months in advance.
But the implications of having truly predictable weather patterns goes far beyond simply knowing when to bring an umbrella with you. Understanding tidal fluctuations could have effects on pursuits related to ecological conservation, hurricanes could be predicted more accurately allowing evacuations before particularly devastating hurricanes, Tsunamis would be less disastrous as regions could be properly safeguarded against oncoming waves, and we could begin to study the effect of geological activity’s relationship to weather. By the end of this study it is possible, if not extraordinarily ambitious, that we could in little more than a century develop an accurate understanding of all the interactions of forces that affect our planet. Droughts, while perhaps not stoppable, could be projected years in advance of their onslaught. People could in theory use this information in any number of ways. Of course first, we must use distant information gathered from the sun to effectively add to our arsenal of terrestrial knowledge, and even our terrestrial knowledge is in many ways lacking.
And perhaps most importantly, if we were to understand the vast and complex systems within the sun, we may even bring ourselves closer to understanding when the next major electromagnetic incident would take place.