A solar storm hits Earth on Thursday according to NOAA.  What impacts?

A solar storm hits Earth on Thursday according to NOAA. What impacts?

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Alfredo Graca Alfredo Graca Weather Portugal 6 minutes
solar storm
The physics of solar phenomena, such as coronal mass ejections, have not yet been studied in detail, but everything indicates that they are magnetic in nature and occur approximately every 11 years. What are the risks to Earth in today’s event?

July 11, a solar flare caught the attention of personnel at space observatories across most of Earth. This phenomenon, which usually occurs in the atmosphere of Royal Star, consists of a sudden burst of electromagnetic radiation and energetic particles from a small region of the solar atmosphere. She came from a region of the Sun. where its magnetic field is particularly strong and complex, causing these explosions to travel at the speed of light.

However, these phenomena do not always occur spontaneously, but are the result of a much broader process, like the one the Sun is experiencing right now.

Inside the Astro-King, the same magnetic field that caused the explosion seen on July 11 continued to twist and turn to sling massive amounts of solar plasma into space. This process, known as coronal mass ejection (CME), it moves at a slower rate than the ejecta and that is exactly what has been happening for the last week.

It was on July 15 that one of them was launched from the Sun towards the Earth and, despite its slower speed, forecasts from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center indicate It will arrive on Earth this Thursday, July 21.

How could this phenomenon affect telecommunications?

The physics of these solar phenomena (solar wind, sunspots, solar flares, and coronal mass ejections) have not yet been studied in detail, but there is every reason to believe that they are primarily magnetic in nature. and occur approximately every 11 years. This is when the Sun experiences its most active magnetic periods, called solar maximum, where the frequency of these events is particularly high.

And it is precisely now that the Sun is approaching the peak of its current cycle, which is estimated to peak in the year 2024, as an increasing number of these phenomena have been recorded in the Earth’s upper atmosphere since last fall (2021).

A coronal mass ejection can affect the Earth in different ways: although it is often accompanied by auroras (and is also commonly visible in high latitudes such as northern Michigan and Maine), its interaction with the earth’s magnetosphere can lead to compression and modification of its structure, generating new and more complex magnetic fields in addition to the Earth’s existing magnetic field.

geomagnetic storm
The effects of a geomagnetic storm can be felt in the form of disruptions to satellites, GPS, and other telecommunications systems.

This phenomenon is called a geomagnetic storm. and its effects can be felt in the form of interruptions in radio and satellite communications, as well as power outages in the most extreme cases.

The good news in this NOAA forecast is that, according to estimates, this geomagnetic storm will be at the lowest level, level 1, and can occasionally cause fluctuations in the power grid and have little impact on the operation of Earth satellites. Finally, at this level and at higher levels, migratory animals may be affected. However, it does not represent a danger to public health.

A look at history

Although it is not the most intense episode in history, it is good to take a look at the history. The year 1859 is remembered as a period that gave rise to the Carrington event: that year, a large geomagnetic storm of the same origin caused the failure of telegraph networks in Europe and North America. It also set the receivers on fire and caused several electrocutions in a world that was not as dependent on telecommunications as it is today.

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