Scientists say there is an oncoming solar storm that will cause possible auroras, but that blackouts and disruption to communications.
Starting Tuesday, July 19, a solar storm could hit the earth. This phenomenon could give rise to the wonderful northern lights, but inconveniences to communications and blackouts are not excluded.
Solar storms they are absolutely normal phenomena, caused by the strong emissions produced by the Sun, which generate a forte solar wind.
Such a wind contains particles with a high amount of energy, that impact with the Earth’s magnetic field. The phenomenon persists from 24 to 36 hours after the solar explosion.
Although explosions on the Sun’s corona occur frequently, they only create problems for the Earth’s magnetic field when the solar wind travels in the direction of the planet earth.
A few days ago it happened a coronal mass explosionfor this reason between 19 and 21 July the effects of the solar wind on the Earth’s magnetic field are expected.
According to the bulletin provided by the National Océanique and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) there is a 45% chance of experiencing a blackout.
Solar storm coming: what it is
On July 15 there was a coronal mass explosion of the Sun which, as often happens, causes a solar storm. The phenomenon was celebrated by several scientists, even Dr. Sebastian Voltmer tweeted:
“The sheer size of the bump is impressive. It was spectacular to see a very fast moving part eject and detach to the side. “
The explosion of the Sun’s coronal mass can be defined as a huge bubble of radiation and particles emitted by the Sun following an explosion. The latter occurs at very high speed, so much so that it is visible through the use of very high definition telescopes.
The explosion, in fact, projects the particles coming from the Sun into space. When the solar wind points towards the earth, the particles coming from the explosion are able to interfere with the communications networkcreating quite a few problems.
However, the incredible phenomenon gives rise to beautiful northern lights, visible even at very distant latitudes from the poles. This is the case in the electromagnetic storm of 1989, which occurred in the skies of Québec, causing a Northern Lights visible as far as Texas.
Radiation dangerous for humans
When the Sun releases high-energy particles directed towards the Earth, they can generate some radiation harmful to humans and for all living beings.
After all, this is low-energy nuclear radiation, and while the atmosphere and magnetosphere manage to offer adequate protection at ground level, the same cannot be said for astronauts who are potentially exposed to ionizing radiation.
These are high-energy particles that are capable of damaging the DNA structure of cells, leading to cancer and other serious health problems.
As for the communication systems, it must be said that the ionospheric storms and are able to influence the radio communications at all latitudes.
In particular, they do not interfere with the frequencies of TV and radio, as they are little affected by solar activity. The speech changes with regard to ground-to-air and amateur radio short waves, with a frequency below 30 MHz.
The same principle can create problems for the navigation systems, such as GPS and Laurent.
Furthermore, when storms hit the upper atmosphere, they generate expansion waves that change temporarily the gravitational orbit of satellites.
If these are not readily rearranged, there is a risk that they get too close to the earth’s surface with the possibility of being burned by friction with it.
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