2:07 pm - Wednesday April 16, 2014

Solar Storm Affects Earth’s Magnetic Field

Asia Bizz: On March 9, 2012, a solar storm shook the Earth’s magnetic field, but scientists stated they faced no problems with the electric systems. On Thursday, after the reports of the storm fizzling out, some activity in the space weather led to forecasters issuing alerts about certain changes in the magnetic field.

Rob Steenburgh, a space weather forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Centre in Boulder, Colorado said that they do not have any reports from the power systems yet, but added that sometimes it does not come until the next storm. Rob added that the storm reached a moderate level on Thursday before going to a strong level on Friday.

For most of Thursday, it was rated as minor and scientists have opined that such storms do not pose a threat to people, but only to technology. The website of the space weather centre says that a storm rated as strong could force corrections to the voltage systems as well as trigger false alarms on some of the protection devices.

The website also mentioned that the storm could even increase drag on satellites and affect their orientation. The forecasters said that there was a two hour blackout of the high frequency radio communications.

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