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Solar Flares in 2012

Updated on March 23, 2011

Solar Flare From Sun Corona

What are Solar Flares?

As we approach December 21 2012 there has been a lot of discussion about what may bring the end times. One such discussion has been about solar flares. In order to understand why solar flares have the potential to cause the end of the world in 2012, we first must understand what they are.

The sun's corona (surface) maintains temperatures hotter than even its core. The surface is flowing with magnetic energy heading in several different directions. During periods of high activity, these lanes of energy will sometime collide with each other. When a collision occurs this built up energy erupts out from the sun. Solar flares contain magnetic energy, photons, and particles. These solar flares release energy that is equivalent to detonating millions of 100 megaton hydrogen bombs at the same time.

Impact of Solar Flares in 2012

The Earth is protected by a magnetosphere. This normally causes the majority of solar particles to bounce off or go around us. Recent discoveries suggest that the magnetosphere is weakening, leaving the Earth with less protection than normal. In 2012 when the solar flares are predicted to be strongest, the magnetosphere may not be able to offer us enough protection. In the event a large solar flare or coronal mass ejection (CME) impacts the earth it has the potential to wipe out power grids all over the world. Communication satellites would be destroyed as well as most transformers in 1st world countries. With very few transformers to replace the damaged ones, and limited production ability after a mass power outage, we could potentially be without power for up to 10 years. There is no argument from NASA or the scientific community that solar flares have the potential to send us back to the dark ages. 

Solar Flare Activity

While we probably would not get much notice if a large solar flare was headed for us, the sun is monitored continuously for them. You can get updated information on solar flares that have left the sun at


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