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Geomagnetic Storm

February 18, 2011 by staff 

Geomagnetic Storm, A geomagnetic storm is a temporary disruption of Earth’s magnetosphere caused by a disturbance in space weather. Associated with solar flares and resulting solar coronal mass ejections (CME), a geomagnetic storm is caused by a shock wave in the solar wind and / or a cloud of magnetic field, which typically strikes the Earth’s magnetic field three days after event. The solar wind pressure on the magnetosphere and the solar wind magnetic field increases or decreases depending on solar activity.

Changes in solar wind pressure changes the electrical currents in the ionosphere and magnetic field of the solar wind interacts with Earth’s magnetic field causing the entire structure to evolve. Magnetic storms usually last 24 to 48 hours, but some can last for several days. [Citation needed] In 1989, an electromagnetic storm disrupted power throughout most of Quebec and caused auroras as far south as Texas.

A wave of particles in the plasma taken from a huge solar flare ricocheted North Pole of Earth, the aurora borealis lights up and disrupts some radio communications, a NASA scientist said.

But the Earth seems to have escaped widespread geomagnetic storm, with effects limited to northern latitudes, perhaps down in Norway and Canada.

“There may be sporadic outages on the base including small-scale events,” said Dean Persnell, project scientist at NASA Observatory Solar Dynamics at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

He told AFP the official forecast is “generally calm conditions today, tomorrow maybe a few brains, but nothing extraordinary.”

The event began Tuesday at 0156 GMT with a spectacular eruption in a solar sunspot the size of Jupiter, which produced a flash of class X – the most powerful of all solar events.

The eruption blasted a stream of charged particles called a plasma coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth at about 560 miles per second (900 kilometers per second), the Solar Dynamics Observatory reported.

The storm is not a normal terrestrial storm with wind and rain, but a geomagnetic storm affecting the higher regions of the Earth’s atmosphere from the ionosphere, where charged particles and energy sun interact with Earth’s magnetic field.

Although we are not likely to have any ill effect of the geomagnetic storm today, communications and other satellites in orbit above the Earth could be affected. Therefore, scientists and engineers predict and monitor conditions in and above the ionosphere.

If you visit their website http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/today.html, you can view images and graphics to back up forecasts of the text.

As the forecast indicates the space-time observers have seen this coming storm. Three days ago, a group of sunspots on the sun exploded and burst like a zit giant plasma, energy and launch of charged particles (electrons and protons) to Earth in what is more scientifically called a coronal mass ejection (CME).

[Source: via various online sources and wikipedia]

[Source: image via WWW.PHOTOSFAN.COM]

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