The sun is the most powerful force in our solar system. And, it is also potentially the most deadly. Recently, there has been growing excitement that the next "solar maximum" could render power grids, the Internet and telecommunications networks inoperable, and could even destroy modern civilization as we know it. What do science and Scripture reveal about our massive, nuclear neighbor?
The sun is a giant and incredibly violent nuclear fusion reactor 332,830 times larger than the earth. Every second, 700 million tons of hydrogen is explosively converted into helium, generating 5 million tons of energy and many millions of degrees of heat. Solar flares and "CME's" (coronal mass ejections) regularly erupt from the sun, sending super-heated gas and particles streaming out into the solar system.
Some solar flares emit powerful X-rays, while CME's emit billions of tons of plasma and energy from the sun's corona, equivalent to the explosion of more than a hundred million hydrogen bombs! These explosions travel over 2 million miles per hour and can destroy anything in their path, even shredding individual atoms.
A strong CME may pass around the earth if our polarity is parallel. However, if the earth and the sun's magnetic poles are not parallel, then the CME high-energy particles can be injected into the earth's atmosphere with devastating consequences to satellites, spacecraft, aircraft navigation and even entire telecommunication and national power grids.
Every 11 years, the sun cycles from a low activity "solar minimum," to a high activity "solar maximum" where solar flares and coronal mass ejections peak. Since the current solar minimum has been "longer" and "deeper" than most researchers predicted, many now fear that the coming solar maximum will be longer and more intense than predicted.
Additionally, scientists predict that in 2012, the sun's poles will again flip, creating a vulnerable configuration for the earth. Adding to these concerns is the fact that in 2009, NASA reported that the next solar maximum (from 2012 to about 2016) will coincide with the presence of a new and unusually large hole in the earth's protective geomagnetic shield that normally helps divert energy from solar flares and CMEs.
These factors: 1. the 2012 polarity flip, 2. the coming solar maximum, and 3. the unusually large and new geomagnetic hole in our protective shield, could be an astonishingly terrible astronomical coincidence, leaving humanity to trust in "luck" that we make it through another solar maximum unscathed … or it could be that the Lord God has allowed conditions to perfectly configure to bring ancient Bible prophecies to pass how and when He wills.
Leviticus 26:19 warns that if the nations do not turn back to God in heartfelt repentance, then, at the end of this age, He will afflict the earth. Revelation 16:8-9 specifically reveals that during the Day of the Lord, the fourth bowl judgment will bring unbearable scorching heat and "fire" from the sun that will sear the land and "scorch men with fire"!
Only God knows the exact timing of end-time events (Mark 13:32), but could conditions be aligning to fulfill these ancient prophecies? Could the next solar maximum cause massive, international utility and communications disruption, and set the stage for both the scorching heat that preludes the Day of the Lord and then the heat and solar fire that accompanies the fourth bowl judgment?
Our sun is indeed a massive, powerful and awesome neighbor. But, our God is El Shaddai – the Creator of the entire universe (Genesis 1:1, Colossians 1:16)! If we develop a close, personal relationship with Him now, then we need not fear the next solar maximum or any of the events prophesized to afflict the earth prior to Christ's Second Coming.