A Battle on the Cosmic Chessboard....
It is an important day. You are about to see the result of one of the most important exams in your life! This result could make or break your career. You have studied for 3 years for this exam and the time has finally come. The result was just about to flash on the screen and suddenly you see a dinosaur! It was many years ago when you had last seen this dinosaur, which jumps on your fingertips (literally), and says "No internet access". Yes, the last time you lost your Wifi connection was almost 5 years ago. You get frustrated, and call the city's centralised WiFi centre, but to no avail. Mobile and wifi connectivity is terminated, and the dynamo inside the city's Tesla centre goes boom!! You get out of your quarters to physically investigate, as you know all communication via the internet or satellites is useless if the city's Tesla Centre just blew up. Suddenly you feel a thud on your head, your vision starts blurring…. And you wake up!!
Even if it was a dream right now, this catastrophe is very much likely to occur on a life-threatening level in the next 80-100 years. It's what scientists call a Solar Storm, or even a Coronal Mass Ejection(CME). Large bursts of energy from the Sun, ionised space dust and gas combined with the interplanetary debris makes a lethal combination for our satellites, the internet and all wired communication systems. If such a solar storm hits us, the whole world will go into a total communication blackout, costing everything from huge monetary losses to even lives!
So, assuming we are a technologically advanced species capable of building any machine which is physically feasible, here are 5 ways which we can use to save ourselves from a solar storm or a CME:
[Note that most of these solutions presume that we have enough satellites (orbiting the sun) and telescopes providing data to build patterns and predict such occurrences at least a couple of days in advance]
1) The Underworld
The solar storm or CME may erode our precious Ozone layer to a very large extent, and harmful carcinogenic UV radiation may bask the earth's surface. In such a scenario, living in underground shelters may be a good alternative to survive this disaster.
a) These shelters however need to be meticulously planned, built years in advance, and maintained regularly to be used in such a crisis. One huge underground shelter per city should be sufficient.
b) There need to be enough entry, exit points to the "The Underworld", along with proper ventilation ducts, artificial lighting, water and food reserves, etc too.
c) The minimal communication equipment needed to communicate between these city shelters should be protected properly, covered with aluminium foil (or other synthesised materials).
2) The Space Air Force
Another way to tackle the solar storms and CMEs is to have in place a powerful network of space probes and satellites strategically placed and moved with the earth's orbit (throughout the distance from the sun to the earth), which harbour powerful magnets (possibly neodymium, or even some newly synthesised material).
a) These can be programmed to produce strong magnetic fields in a precise manner so as to strengthen the earth's weakened field and counter the solar flares and CMEs, thus working together as a team.
b) For the physical space debris like stones etc. in the storm, we can have huge sheets of synthesised lightweight material already launched into space at very precise locations, who will act as shields for the earth.
Together, both of these will work as an army of energy shields and mechanical shields to protect the earth from disaster.
3) The Infantry
This technique for protecting the earth will be largely ground based. It involves building of humongous magnets at strategic locations on the planet which produce their own magnetic fields and increase the strength of earth's magnetic field, thus countering the Sun's attack.
a) Although this will be less effective compared to "The Space Air Force", we would want to do anything and everything we can, when it is human existence in question.
b) We can also develop materials which won't be affected by the solar storms and CMEs, and build mechanical communication equipment with those.
4) Fooling the storm
Yes, even if it sounds unscientific, we can actually fool the sun and its solar storm by clever manipulation of our satellites and all non-ground communication equipment.
The idea is that if we can predict the solar storms a couple of days in advance, we move all our satellites to the opposite side of the earth till the storm has passed us, thus minimising the damage to aerial communication resources. Though it may sound too simplistic, I feel it would be quite effective. Once the storm is through, we can reroute the satellites to now help us communicate across the planet and fix the ground based damage more quickly.
5) Protecting the Protectors
This is perhaps the most important collection of small tactics we will have to implement in order to survive the calamity. In order to successfully execute any of the plan(s) mentioned above, the masterminds controlling all the manoeuvres, us, the humans need to be protected at all costs.
a) This includes making ozone generators in large quantities to start repairing the ozone layer immediately after the storm passes.
b) The ozone which will break down into oxygen gas and Nascent Oxygen during the storm as well as after it (due to UV radiation), will react with other gases in the atmosphere, and may produce harmful chemicals in the air. To neutralise that, we can spray certain inhibitors or negative catalysts (like in nuclear reactors) to stop the formation of these toxic compounds like NO, SO2, SO3 etc.
c) We will also need to produce special suits which protect human skin from UV and other harmful radiation, in bulk, and at a cheap price, and provide those to at least the engineers, workers, scientists, authorities etc working on the surface regularly, if not to everyone . We need to ensure that these are worn every time anyone comes out of "The Underworld".
So, these are some of the effective ways we can use to protect us and the Earth from such violent astrophysical phenomena. Even though they are very costly and quite ambitious, imagine what a marvellous feat it would be if we do survive a violent astrophysical catastrophe like this by following one or more of the techniques mentioned above!! Imagine that, after a year of blackout and recovery, you finally passed your exam with flying colours!
Every creation of this universe has a purpose behind it. Humanity's indomitable grit, survival instinct and insatiable curiosity is a manifestation of the universe , as a humble attempt to comprehend itself.
"We are humans, and we will always persevere."