A doomsday conspiracy theory has spread on TikTok, with users claiming that Earth will be hit by a huge solar flare on September 24. Videos of the imagined event have been viewed millions of times.
According to Vice, QAnon followers and conspiracy theorists were quick to point out the connection between this date and an episode of The Simpsons (episode 9, season 24) in which doomsday preppers discuss the complete collapse of society. .
“September 24, 2022 will all be remembered as a day when we say, ‘I remember exactly where I was,’ German politician Friedrich Merz said in an ominous clip that has been circulating on social media.
Nobody really knows what to expect from September 24, but the most popular theory is that Earth will be hit by a massive solar flare, which will supposedly lead to the end of the world.
Solar flares occur when dark areas on the surface of the sun, called sunspots, cause the sun’s magnetic fields to become entangled. This results in a sudden burst of light and radiation known as a solar flare.
The amount of energy released by these flares is equivalent to millions of nuclear bombs exploding at the same time, so it’s no wonder people are worried.
But is there any substance behind the doomsday conspiracy around September 24?
Based on analysis of current solar activity, the likelihood of a major solar flare occurring on this date is extremely low. As of Friday morning, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center had issued no solar storm warnings.
Additionally, according to NASA, even if a large solar flare were to occur, it is unlikely to cause direct harm to humans due to the shielding effect of Earth’s atmosphere. That’s not to say it would go unnoticed; strong radiation like this could disrupt high-frequency radio signals used in navigation systems around the world.
As of September 23, there were five active sunspot regions facing Earth. SpaceWeatherLive.com, which records solar activity in real time, says all of these regions have just a 1% chance of producing an X-class solar flare, the largest type of flare produced by the sun. One region, Region 3105, has a 15% chance of producing an M-class flare, the second most important type.
This type of solar flare is unlikely to cause significant disturbance to Earth, although it may interfere with satellite systems and cause an aurora in the northern hemisphere.
According to the official minutes of Merz’s speech, the politician had meant February 24, not September, in his speech, in reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The September 24 end of the world has been officially debunked.