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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby hannraoi8 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:07 pm

What would happen if a Solar Storm hit us? Like the one thats supposed to in 2013?
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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby mylnburne » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:19 pm

First, there is no such thing as "as solar storm that is supposed to hit us in 2013". At present, the best we can do is one week in advance.

There are solar storms all the time on the Sun. NONE of them can reach us. Ever.

What they can do is trigger a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and these happen all the time. Since they can be ejected in any direction, most of them miss us.

Some do "hit" us (many per year) and one did about a month ago.

Most of the time, they cause very beautiful Northern Lights (and southern lights if you live south of the equator).

Sometimes (very rarely), they can cause Earth's field to have what we call a Magnetic Reconnection Event, resulting in a geomagnetic storm. Rapid fluctuations of our magnetic field can induce currents in very long conductors. The last time this happened, computers that control the power distribution in the province of Quebec (in Canada) misinterpreted it as a major problem and they shut down the grid. Six million people went without power for nine hours. Total number of deaths = 0.

Sometimes, the charged particles can penetrate computer chips and cause problems. In August 1989, the computers that run the Toronto Stock Exchange crashed and some people could not follow what was happening to their shares for almost a full day. Total number of deaths = 0.

The one at the beginning of August 2010 caused... beautiful Northern Lights.
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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby stevenson15 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:25 pm

Solar storms happen all the time, they jus vary in intensity. Solar wind composed of high energy particles come zipping towards earth from the sun every second. For the most part, these particles are deflected by the earth's magnetosphere, and the few particles that get through are responisble for phenomena such as the aurora borealis (the northern lights). Occasionally, the sun will go through a short period of increased activity in which it will blow off large portions of plasma in the coronasphere and blast them towards us. These can cause problems on earth and in orbit by exposing astronauts and satellites in orbit to dangerous levels of radiation (which can knock out satellites) and damaging electronic systems on earth from the ionization of the upper atmosphere. If it is even more powerful, it can cause surface radiation levels on the earth's surface to increase. The more powerful the solar event is, the more damage it can do on earth.
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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby zachely84 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:36 pm

Despite all the hype you may have been reading, there is nothing new or unusual about solar storms. They happen all the time, and have happened for thousands, probably millions, of years. Most of the time they have absolutely no effect on Earth. Nothing. Nada. There is nothing unusual about the maximum in 2013 except that it's a bit later than expected, and not as large as usual. And remember, this is just a statistical prediction: we've no more idea what is going to happen than we ever had in the past.
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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby dell75 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:59 pm

The thing to worry about with solar storms is they may wipe out the electricity going to your house. They could wipe out any computers in you home and car. It could wipe out the computer in the airline you are flying in. The best thing to do is have a plan if this was to happen.
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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby sunukkuhkau82 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:02 pm

Earth's magnetic field would protect us.
If it hits Earth 95% of the population will fry!
Most of our technology would be destroyed and we'd be in the stone age.
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What effect does a Solar Storm have on us?

Postby devonn » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:06 pm

Huge ones like that are rumors just like 2012.
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