On December 26, 2004, one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history took place in the Indian Ocean. A whopping ~9.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia, generating a series of massive tsunami waves that killed ~228,000 people in 14 countries.
The very next day, December 27, 2004, a massive gamma ray flare from interstellar space bombarded the Earth with a force 100 times more powerful than any other similar eruption witnessed before, temporarily altering the shape the Earth's ionosphere and affecting radio communications. The cosmic blast, as we learned a few months later, came from a huge "star quake" of a super-magnetic neutron star - "magnetar" - called SGR 1806-20 near the Galactic Center.
Fast-forward to 2019. As noted in Part 4, the Sun will be ...
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