The ‘massive’ solar storm: 4 possible repercussions A giant burst of magnetic energy from the sun is zapping the earth. Here’s why we may not come out unscathed
A close-up image of the solar flare storm that began Tuesday — the biggest such storm in nearly five years. Photo: NASA SEE ALL 74 PHOTOS
A huge eruption of solar radiation is hitting the Earth, and will continue through Saturday. The Class X burst — the most powerful type of solar flare — is the biggest since 2006, and it’s expected to kick off a two-year period of intense solar activity. The solar flares occur when “magnetic field lines on the sun’s surface in effect get short-circuited” and shoot bursts of energy into space. While no one’s completely sure how this will affect our planet, here are four possible ways the “massive” solar flare could mess with, or in some cases beautify, the world:
1. Trigger communication blackoutsSolar flares can wreak havoc on the Earth’s communication systems and electrical grids, and this flare is already jamming shortwave radio communication in parts of China. Similar solar flares knocked out phone service in Illinois in 1972 and left six million Canadians without power in 1989. “The sun giveth, and the sun taketh away,” says Nicholas Deleon in CrunchGear.
2. Fry satellites — and GPS gadgetsThe solar storm in 2006 disrupted GPS systems, says Lisa Grossman in Wired. And “satellite navigation was barely a consumer product” then, says Jason Palmer in BBC News. Today GPS devices guide not only cars and emergency vehicles, but are critical to boats, trains and military operations.
3. Destroy years of work on your novelThe burst of solar activity exposes a pitfall of storing art and writing on computers, author Margaret Atwood told the 2011 Tools of Change for Publishing conference. “The stupid side of electronic information includes: one big solar flare and it’s gone,” she said. “If there’s something you really, really want to save and you think there’s going to be a solar flare or an electromagnetic pulse of any kind, get yourself a lead-lined safe and put it in there.”
4. Jazz up the northern lightsIt’s not all bad, says Melissa Bell in The Washington Post. Expect “awesome northern lights.” When the solar wind hits the Earth’s magnetic field, colorful sparks fly, and the effect is a brighter aurora borealis that extends further south, possibly visible from part of the continental U.S. “What’s more, though a full moon often outshines the auroras, this storm may be so powerful as to mix moonlight and northern lights in one spectacular swirl,” says Wired‘s Grossman. “So look up!”
- solar panel diagram
- 65 kw solar panel systems
- no glare solar panel
- when was solar power created
- solar energy printable activities
- Biggest Solar Flares in 4 Years Heading Toward Earth
Frame from an animated GIF showing the solar flare in question. [Photo: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory]That big massive ball of burning hydrogen in the center of our solar system has been getting more and more active as of late–the sun recently had three solar flares explode from the corona, its high temperature plasma atmosphere. Particularly powerful
- Teachers’ Domain: Solar Eclipses
The Moon cycles through its phases during its 29.5-day orbit around Earth. While the Sun always illuminates half of the Moon, the apparent shape of the Moon as seen from Earth depends on Earth’s relative position. For example, at full moon, the Moon appears as a full disk because Earth is between the Moon and
- Solar Energy Diagram: How is Solar Energy produced and what really is Solar Energy?
What is Solar Energy? The Solar Energy Diagram Look at this Solar Energy Diagram and see how Solar Power is reaching us Tweet It’s so impressive! Solar Energy is created by the biggest reactor we know (at least we can see with the naked eye): our sun. We can use the energy our sun
- Photovoltaic principle
The Sun is by far the largest energy source in the solar system. Amount of the solar energy that is every minute reaching Earth is enough to satisfy annual energetic needs of the mankind at the current stage of development. Despite its huge potential, only small percentage of energetic needs is covered with the use
- How Does Wind Energy Work? Find Out The Truth
Wind energy: what makes it work? The different areas of the earth when heated by the sun give rise to air currents because of cooler and warmer bodies of air moving in different directions. Not only does the earth have irregularities on its surface which make this happen, but the different areas of