The effects of a'super solar storm' on our technological world could be devastating, burning out power stations, cutting water supplies, and leaving satellites dead in the skies.
The contemporary studies indicate that a third familiar instance of an enormous solar storm anteceding in time has been found via unintended inspection in nature's own annals.
These phenomena are called solar proton events (SPEs), and this threatens modern society in terms of navigation and communication systems, commercial aircraft operations, and space technologies.
Our planet is constantly being bombarded by cosmic particles.
Solar storms occur when massive bursts of energy hurtle from the Sun towards Earth.
Solar storms can be far more powerful than previously thought.
"If that solar storm had occurred today, it could have had severe effects on our high-tech society", says Raimund Muscheler, professor of geology at Lund University and co-author of the study.
The event was at least 10 times more intense than any storm in the past 70 years-since modern records began.
Previous research found that extreme proton storms can generate radioactive atoms of beryllium-10, chlorine-36 and carbon-14 in the atmosphere. The researchers now plan to carry out a systematic search to better understand just how often big solar storms hit Earth, so we can be better prepared for them.
The team, who were studying ice nearly a third of a mile beneath the surface, found traces of the huge radiation blast which hit the earth during a storm in 660 BC, embedded in Greenland ice cores. The cores come from Greenland and contain ice formed over the past 100,000 years.
They found traces of chlorine and beryllium isotopes in the ice from the deadly storm over 2,500 years ago.
"There are high-energy solar energetic particle events, or solar proton events", Muscheler told Paul Rincon at BBC News. A new study has chose to analyze ice cores (samples of ice which are recovered from glaciers and zones where the ice is ancient) as they aimed to learn more about the phenomenon and how it can influence the world.
"Those storms took place in 775 CE and 994 CE". "I am sure these are recurring features of the sun and with a systematic search we will certainly find more", Muscheler told Newsweek.
The discovery means that in the worst-case scenarios, the risk planning for major space-related weather events had failed to estimate the scale of destruction these powerful solar storms can unleash.
The scientists detailed their findings online March 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.