Scientists are warning that an outbreak of solar storms could destroy many things and have a dramatic impact on Earth at any time. But what causes these sudden bursts of light and how do they affect us?

What is a solar storm

?A solar storm, also known as the solar wind, is an explosion of magnetic energy in the Sun’s atmosphere that causes a violent outburst of solar radiation. the light. They cannot be detected with the naked eye from the Earth’s surface but can be observed through telescopes, space X-rays, and thermal imaging instruments.

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The amount of energy released by a solar storm can be equivalent to millions of 100-megaton (100 million tons) hydrogen bombs exploding all at once – 10 million times greater than the energy released by an eruption. volcanic eruption.

Usually lasting only a few minutes, the heat of a solar storm on materials can reach millions of degrees and create a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, which ranges from radio waves to X-rays and gamma rays.

When, where, and why do solar storms occur

?Solar storms occur when magnetic energy accumulated in the sun’s atmosphere is suddenly released – mainly in active region around sunspots. Their frequency varies from a few days, when the sun is active, to less than a week during quiet times.

Large-scale solar storms are usually less common than small-scale solar storms. The sun’s activity changes over an 11-year cycle at its peak usually more sunspots and therefore more solar storms.

What effect do they have on Earth

?X-rays and ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by solar winds can cause long-lasting radiation storms in the Earth’s ionosphere. earth – which is the highest part of the atmosphere – and causes radio signal loss around the world.

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Scientists have warned that a really large outburst of a solar storm could destroy satellites, collapse energy and signal networks around the globe.

NASA recently said that the UK could face widespread power outages and long-term loss of vital communications if Earth were to be impacted. driven by a solar storm.

How do we know they are coming

?Current methods used to predict the solar wind are very vague and it is currently impossible to know exactly when one will occur. The active region of the Sun will produce this phenomenon.

But certain properties of sunspots and the Sun’s active region correlate with flares. Magnetic complex regions known as delta points generate most of the solar winds, so a simple diagram of sunspot classification is often used as a starting point to predict this phenomenon. Predictions are usually stated in terms of the probability of a flare-up within 24 or 48 hours.

Several space missions have been launched to observe solar storms, such as Hinode – a new spacecraft of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAEA) in 2006 to observe the solar eclipse. more detailed.

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Since when was this phenomenon discovered

?The first time they were discovered was also the strongest ever. It occurred in 1859 and was reported independently by British astronomers Richard Carrington and Roger Hodgeson. Scientists observed flares as small areas flared up in a group of sunspots. This event left traces on Greenland in the form of nitrate and beryllium-10, which allows us to measure its strength today.

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