If you're not scared enough by the rate of changeclimate on our planet, the latest research by scientists will definitely bring the matter to an end. Based on the data, experts warn of approaching, catastrophic solar superstorms. According to the researchers, a powerful geomagnetic storm causing natural disasters is inevitable in the near future. The effects of this solar storm can lead to power outages and even satellite failures. Unlike other threats to our planet, such as supervolcanoes or asteroids, the time frame for the occurrence of a catastrophic geomagnetic storm is relatively short. These storms can occur in 10 or 100 years.
What is a solar storm?
The sun is the only star in the sunsystems and one of the many stars in our galaxy. Around the Sun, celestial bodies revolve, including our planet. A feature of the Earth is its magnetic field, which protects us from solar and cosmic radiation. Planets without a magnetic shield have no signs of life. As you know, each star has its own characteristics. So, from time to time active processes take place on the Sun, for example, flares, sun spots, coronary mass ejections and shock waves. Thanks to these events, energy particles arise. They fly away from our home star in many different directions. Thus, some of them fall into the magnetosphere of the Earth. Collision with these energy particles leads to a perturbation of the magnetic field, which we call a magnetic storm.
The main feature of magnetic storms is theirimpact on the whole planet. Trembling and excitement of the magnetic shield lead to different consequences. The fact is that along with the magnetic field, all other layers of the Earth’s atmosphere change. And due to the unrest of the ionosphere, plasmosphere and magnetosphere, currents and energy particles arise. As a result of the induction effect caused by a magnetic storm, disasters can occur associated with damage to conductive systems such as pipelines and power lines.
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Today, experts are considering eventsSeptember 1859 in Carrington (USA), referred to as the superstorm, as the most powerful magnetic storm in the entire history of observations. However, new data indicate that a later magnetic storm in May 1921 in its intensity could overshadow the events in Carrington, causing at least three major fires in the United States, Canada and Sweden. Scientists also received data on the devastating effects of solar storms on our planet.
Why are magnetic storms dangerous?
In an article published in Space Weather magazine,experts have redefined the intensity of the 1921 event, known as the "railway storm." Historical measurements of magnetic storms are not easy. Today, scientists around the world have at their disposal tools for tracking magnetic storms, but scientists' knowledge of these processes until 1957 was based on meaningless data obtained by various instruments scattered around the planet. In a new study, scientists recreated the intensity of the 1921 storm with accuracy unseen before.
An analysis by scientists shows thatthe aftermath of the 1921 New York Railroad Storm was as severe as the events at Carrington. The fact is that the storm of 1921 caused three major fires. One of them was caused by a power outage in the telegraph wires at the train station in Brewster, New York and led to the station being burned. The second was the fire that destroyed the telephone exchange in Karlstad, Sweden, and the third occurred in Ontario, Canada.
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How to protect yourself from a magnetic storm?
Today, scientists monitor space weather withusing NASA devices such as Advanced Composition Explorer. Thanks to data obtained from these devices, scientists issue warnings that a magnetic storm is approaching. This system allows specialists to shut down power outlets or satellites in advance as the storm approaches, in order to reduce its impact.
But if the strongest falls on Earth againmagnetic storm, its consequences can be more serious, regardless of warnings. The authors of the study believe that the consequences of such a solar storm can not be called the end of the world, but they will definitely entail severe destruction. Be that as it may, scientists are closely monitoring space weather. According to scientists, in the past few years, politicians have begun to pay "due attention" to this problem. And you and I can only hope that magnetic storms of such destructive power will not overtake our planet in the next 100 years.