This again, big story that has little effect so why male a big deal about it.
It's a stormy forecast from the space met offices for this weekend, as those whose business it is to monitor these things say the Sun has coughed out a couple of hefty plasma belches in our direction and these can be expected to pelt the planet with particles in coming days. Better out than in According to NASA, which felt …
This is a useful compendium site that gathers together all the various sun related data, graphs and pictures. It updates itself regularly, so that one can watch the whole thing unfolding. As usual on these occasions the southern part of the UK will be under cloud and rain during this CME's likely earthfall.
"These particles cannot travel through the atmosphere to harm humans on Earth, but they can affect electronic systems in satellites and on the ground."
Odd wording in that sentence - it implies that even though the particles cannot travel through the atmosphere they can still affect electronic systems on the ground. It doesn't allude to the mechanism by which this may happen. I thought a CME also included EM radiation and it was that which did the electronics damage on the ground. But obviously, I'm no CME expert.
The EM radiation which is emitted by the sun at the same time as the CME takes 8 minutes to reach us - this is why there can be a warning.
The (charged) particles then (eventually) hit the Earth's atmosphere, and twang about (technical term[TM]) in our magnetosphere. It's this twanging about which causes EM disturbances, which can interfere with ground-based systems.
Interesting stuff. The Aurora from on of these was once so powerful it was seen as far south as Arizona. It would be cool to see that happen again. I hope it doesn't fry anything in orbit though. This isn't one, but it would suck if we had another "Carrington event" because everything is on magnetic only storage these days.
Nuclear EMP is caused by the large burst of charged particles at the right altitude. Moving charged particles --> broadband EM wave source
The Starfish test in (IIRC) 1962 managed to shut down the power grid for Hawaii. It also screwed up long range radio reception for months.
While most of the time these wil result in nothing but "pretty lights" in the sky the potential results for the industrialized world are pretty serious.
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