Washington: In a sensational revelation, NASA has said that the Earth had a near miss July 23 last year with a giant solar flare or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the most powerful solar storm on the sun in over 150 years.
"If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces," Daniel Baker from University of Colorado was quoted as saying.
"We were lucky to avoid an imminent catastrophe as the sun's aim narrowly turned away from Earth. Had it occurred a week earlier when the solar flare was pointing at us, the result could have been altogether different," the New York Post reported.
The ejection was so powerful that it would have sent us back to the dark ages.
Scientists say that a direct CME hit would have the potential to eliminate communication networks, GPS, and electrical grids to cause widespread blackout.
"Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did and not one week earlier," Baker added.