The sun is expected to reach “solar maximum” in the next two years, a phenomenon which may lead to “internet apocalypse”.
According to Washington Post report, the Sun will reach "solar maximum" - a particularly active period - in 2025 and today's digital world is not prepared for it.
There has been a renewed interest in the solar cycle of the Sun as it sends out solar storms, sometimes so devastating that they could snap all means of communication on the Earth, the report mentioned.
Terms like "internet apocalypse" have caught the attention of social media users, which led to a barrage of misinformation and unsubstantiated warnings from American space agency NASA.
NASA has not yet commented on the possibility of the end of the internet being caused by the 2025 solar storm.
But people started discussing what the "always online" tribe will do if such an event takes place? But it is just a hype? The Post says these concerns are not entirely fiction.
The report said a strong solar storm could hit Earth - a rare event that has not happened in the interconnected world so far - causing widespread internet outage.
It mentioned the Carrington Event in 1859 due to which the telegraph lines sparked and operators were electrocuted, as well as the 1989 solar storm that took out the Quebec power grid for hours.
"We've never experienced one of the extreme case events, and we don't know how our infrastructure would respond to it. Our failure testing doesn't even include such scenarios," the report quoted Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, a computer science professor at University of California at Irvine.
Her paper 'Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse' played a key role in popularising the term, the report mentioned.
Jyothi, as per the report, said that a severe solar storm is likely to affect large-scale infrastructure such as undersea communication cables that could interrupt long-distance connectivity.
Such outages could last for months, the report said, adding that the economic impact of just one day of lost connectivity in the US alone is estimated to be more than $11 billion.