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  • 05 April, 2023

  • 4 Min Read

Geomagnetic Storm

Geomagnetic Storm

  • According to the US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, Earth just experienced a strong geomagnetic storm with a severity classification of G4 (NOAA).
  • The second-highest severity rating, G4, has the potential to result in widespread issues with power grid voltage regulation. Protection mechanisms may inadvertently trip critical grid power assets as a result.

About geomagnetic storm

  • An energy exchange from the solar wind into the space environment around Earth causes a geomagnetic storm, which is a significant disturbance of the magnetosphere.
  • The release of magnetic energy from the sunspots, known as solar winds, results in solar storms.
  • These storms are the result of variations in the solar wind, which dramatically change the currents, plasmas, and fields in the magnetosphere of Earth.
  • A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or a fast solar stream collides with our planet's magnetosphere when it arrives there.
  • The magnetosphere of the Earth is produced by its magnetic fields, and it typically shields humans from solar particle emissions.

Type of solar storms

  • Solar flares: A solar flare is a sudden increase in brightness on the Sun that is typically seen close to its surface or near a group of sunspots.
  • Geomagnetic Storm: A geomagnetic storm is a brief disruption of the Earth's magnetosphere brought on by an interaction between the solar wind shock and the magnetic field of the planet.
  • Solar Particle Events: A solar particle event, also known as a solar proton event (SPE), or prompt proton event, occurs when particles (mostly protons) emitted by the Sun are accelerated either by coronal mass ejection shocks in interplanetary space or by flares that occur close to the Sun during the event.

What Consequences Would Such a Storm Have?

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS), radio, and satellite communications can all be negatively impacted by solar storms. Programs for space exploration and aircraft flights are at risk.
  • The magnetosphere, which surrounds the Planet and serves as a shield, may become disturbed.
  • During performing spacewalks, astronauts face the risk of being exposed to solar radiation outside of the atmosphere's shielding effects.

How are they predicted?

  • Computer models are used by solar physicists and other scientists to forecast solar storms and other solar activity.

  • A storm's arrival time and pace can be predicted using current models.

  • However it is still not possible to predict the storm's structure or orientation.

  • More intense responses from the magnetosphere and more intense magnetic storms may result from specific magnetic field orientations.

  • There is a need for better space weather forecasts and more effective techniques to protect satellites because to the growing global reliance on satellites for nearly every activity.

Read Also: Sun, Solar Missions & Solar Phenomenon

Source: Indian Express

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