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What is a solar storm? It is a type of high energy and radiation on the sun. These storms often cause interference with communications, navigation systems, and electricity grids on Earth. This can be due to an increase in electromagnetic emissions from the sun or when charged particles interact with Earth’s magnetic field. Solar storms are not always bad though- they have been known to create auroras near the poles, for example!
As we know, Sun is the main source of energy by its hot plasma and constant nuclear fusion reaction in its core are emitting energy in form of UV rays, Infrared rays, and visible light. Sun is so hot that you can even imagine it is like a hot ocean where it can rip off the atoms into electrons and nuclei all flowing around each other in plasma creates arch-like patterns. This plasma is pushed around and shapes by Sun’s magnetic field, like how Sun’s gravitational field makes other planets revolve around it. But, here the instead of gravity that flowing in patterns are created by electromagnetism.
These electromagnetic fields create magnetic fields, and the magnetic fields create electricity. So, the plasma in the Sun is made of electrically charged photons and electrons create a magnetic field as they move, and this magnetic field shapes the flow of particles which creates a loop called Dynamo, it is the main reason which is maintaining the Sun’s magnetic field. This magnetic field stores an enormous amount of energy and leaks into the Solar System, those are called Solar storms. Sometimes these Solar storms which carry a huge amount of energy change their path and travel towards Earth.
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What is a Solar storm and How Solar storms Impacts Earth:
When these storms hit Earth mostly nothing will happen, but they can cause harm to astronauts, damages satellites, and affect radio communication. For the people on the surface, the weather is harmless because of Earth’s magnetic field. That electrified plasma was created by the Sun’s magnetic field when it reaches Earth is diverted to the North and South poles by the Earth’s magnetic field.
Those diverted Electromagnetic fields energize the particles in the atmosphere at the North and South poles to create beautiful auroras.
But, sometimes Solar storms come with high intense energy, those are called Solar Superstorms. This may happen once or twice every century if this happens, we will detect strong solar flares a kind of flash like a dangerous thunder. When it hits Earth, it’ll cause a shock wave by compressing the Earth’s magnetic field. This affects all the machines that work on electricity and even causes exploding of transformers.
When was the last solar storm:
In 1859 a powerful solar flare called the Carrington event did hit the earth, it affected most of the telegraph systems in both Europe and North America. In some cases, the geomagnetic disturbances were so strong that they sparked fires, shocked telegraph operators, and even allowed the telegraph systems to work with no power.
In 1989 a similar event happened in Quebec causes a short circuit in their grid that left 6million people with no power for 9 hours. Many Solar flares are harmless, but some Solar storms which carry an enormous amount of energy can be predicted by finding the trigger points that create spots in the sun.