Saturday 19 December 2020

Space weather warning! Solar flare could affect electrical grids, GPS systems

FOX 2 St. Louis shows that there’s a space weather warning for Earth. The planet is under a geomagnetic storm watch. And what’s happening on the sun could affect everyone on Earth.

Scientists have discovered that a massive sunspot is turning towards Earth. This event could cause major strong flares, which can affect Global Positioning Systems (GPS) connectivity, power grids, satellites, and radio communications.

Telecommunication satellites and even GPS satellites can be rendered inoperable for periods of time during solar flares. There's also an effect that it could have on humans, any humans orbiting the Earth at the time as well. Solar flares occur near the surface of the sun.

Solar flares and CMEs seem to pose no direct threat to humans on earth. Earth's atmosphere protects us from the radiation of space weather. (If an astronaut out in space is bombarded with the high-energy particles from a CME, he or she could be seriously injured or killed.)

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun's corona. They expand in size as they propagate away from the Sun and larger CMEs can reach a size comprising nearly a quarter of the space between Earth and the Sun by the time it reaches our planet.

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