Hopkins Academy

Largest Solar Storm Since 2005

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

A very large solar outburst Sunday, caused a stir in the scientific community, who were quick to report that it was the largest solar eruption ever recorded since 2005.NOAA’s space weather predicting system reported that the storm was classified as S3 or strong. The largest on NOAA’s scale  is an S5 storm is said to cause radio blackouts and have a detrimental effect on satellite systems. During the solar storm the sun released an outburst of charged protons, radiation and plasma hurdling towards the earth, causing the Aurora Borealis effect or the Northern Lights in places as south as Maine and Northern Europe. The effect created was a stunning stream of glowing ribbons in the sky that resulted from the earths magnetic field reacting with the charged particles that were emitted from the sun. The Storm was not good news for airlines, especially those that were planning to cross the polar regions. The storm effected satellite communication and also caused gps signals to become disruptive. This unfortunately resulted in the rerouting of many northern flights incidentally causing a large number of delays. The radiation from the storm is in fact still bombarding us, but it has now decreased dramatically in strength. Nevertheless adjustments need to be made in many satellites located in the poles. Many scientists believe that this is just the beginning of a new era where solar storms will increase in both frequency in strength. Scientists predict that in the event of a very large solar storm, many times the intensity of this one, the human population would be left to a ruined electrical grid system as well as deprived of gps, satellite and cell tower based communication systems. Was this a wake up call for more solar activity yet to come? You decide.

Note: I currently can not embed videos on WordPress but here is a link to the Nasa article with videos of the solar storm.’

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News012312-M8.7.html

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