Many speculate about the possibility of another “Carrington event”. Without getting into unrealistic scenarios, I ask myself the following question: would electronic lines and the equipment connected to them be safe if a large CME occurred, say, between 2am and 3am?

It would seem logical that a region that is not exposed to the sun at the time of the CME would be safe, but on the other hand, auroras occur at night, suggesting that solar flares do not just impact the daytime side of the earth.

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    $\begingroup$ There's "daytime" aurora in the polar winter, a special category of interest to (some) scientists. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Nov 14, 2023 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Wait, a solar flare and a CME aren't the same thing, are they? $\endgroup$
    – A. R.
    Nov 16, 2023 at 21:01

1 Answer 1



Solar flares don't work like "A massive blob of hot gas hitting the bright side of the Earth"

It's more similar to "A stream of ionized plasma that 'hits' the Earth's magnetic field and gets entangled in it"

Although the solar flares face the daytime side of the Earth, they still cause a significant impact on the nighttime side as well. The solar flares do not actually "hit" the earth, but instead either get caught in the Van Allen belts, a zone of ionized plasma about 640-58,000 km in height, or in the geomagnetic field, where they get funneled into the polar atmosphere and form auroras.

The Van Allen belts seem to be the most dangerous effect of the solar flares, as they have the potential to damage satellites.

TLDR: No, the dark side of the earth is NOT protected from a solar flare.


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