Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Well they look extremely beautiful but could they be dangerous the Aurora Borealis -- the northern lights.
Could pose a potential threat to all of our technology.
Including GPS systems and satellites.
NASA sent up a rocket last week to study the effects and prepare for next year when the lights will be at their peak here to discuss its physicist and author of the book.
Physics of the future -- you -- go who's currently on a book tour for the for the for that big book -- -- that you brown got to be on the shelf it's -- -- -- they are beautiful but they could Patel cause a major problem to -- electronic infrastructure how.
That's right every eleven years the sun has a temper tantrum we had this spectacular light show this dazzling array of radiation from the solar wind.
Which hits the earth funnels down the North Pole and if you're in Alaska are Scandinavia is like -- -- is on fire.
It's an amazing show is so beautiful but explain how it could be dangerous.
Well NASA is so worried that few days ago I set up its -- a rocket 200 miles into out of space.
Because it could damage to -- GPS system our satellites.
Astronauts could be endangered.
Not to mention in the past Quebec parts of South Africa have been blacked out.
Biggest power plants on the -- are also vulnerable to short circuits this is amazing and according to the research physicists believe this could cost us -- -- trillion dollars in a maximum scenario it's actually happened back in 1859.
We had the mother of all solar storms.
The Aurora Borealis could be seen in Cuba.
Cuba you can see it in 1859 you can read the newspaper by yourself at night.
According to the the accounts now if we had another 1859.
Event which is very rare ones every few centuries.
We would be sent back perhaps a hundred years into the past.
Powered plants could get wiped out on the earth satellites get a black top Fox News -- does disappear because all the -- I want short -- and that's doesn't is there anything to do about this to prepare well we physicists said to congress instead of gambling two trillion dollars on this once in a century event.
Why not spend chump change a few hundred million reinforce our satellites redundant power systems.
-- make sure that are part systems have backup systems and congress just laughed at -- pretty -- you just.
Of those events where you and others talk about it and warn people about it and we don't do anything about until it happens.
Yes unfortunately show but never next year it is the peak of the solar cycle so for -- amateurs out there is going to be spectacular.
Is the peak of the eleven year cycle.
The North Pole in the South Pole of his son flipped every eleven years releasing this burst of energy.
But it's a headache for NASA is a headache for the satellite people the military the GPS people -- -- beautiful what we're gonna wake up in the stone age okay get tough -- thanks so much for coming in to tell us all about it.
We won't be able to use these.
Now what will you do -- across.
-- -- -- --
Filter by section