Last solar storm was so severe that it reached the bottom of the ocean: what was about to happen?

Last solar storm was so severe that it reached the bottom of the ocean: what was about to happen?
Last solar storm was so severe that it reached the bottom of the ocean: what was about to happen?

Solar maximum refers to the highest rate of activity of the Sun during an 11-year cycle., approximately. Since 2019, solar cycle 25 began and the Space Weather Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that the period of greatest activity for this star It will occur between the end of 2024 and the beginning of 2026.

Therefore, it is getting closer and the proof of this was the solar storms that occurred in the month of May 2024. The magnitude of these events was so great that they affected the depths of the ocean.

The Ocean Networks of Canada (ONC) observatories are located from the Arctic to Antarctica and one of their compasses changed direction between +30 and -30 degrees.

Scientific data specialist Alex Slonimer was able to identify that it was due to the effect of the Sun. “I investigated whether it was potentially an earthquake, but that didn’t make much sense because the changes in the data lasted too long and simultaneously in different places. Then I investigated whether it was “It was a solar flare, since the Sun had been active recently,” he said in a statement.

Geomagnetic storms, on this occasion, also caused the sighting of the northern lights in several places on Earth and interference in some satellitesin charge of the operation of GPS, internet and other technological devices.

“During geomagnetic storms, some radio frequencies are absorbed and others are reflected, resulting in rapidly fluctuating signals and unexpected propagation paths, which reproduce or multiply in unplanned directions. Public and amateur radio are frequently seen disturbed,” NASA explained.

In this episode, Some satellites, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink, presented disturbances in their signal and recorded high voltage peaks. Also, the BBC reported that farmers using GPS-enabled tractors were affected.

However, advances in technology have allowed the possibility of taking precautionary measures so that solar storms do not affect technology on Earth on a large scale.

What will happen after solar storms?

“As the Sun reaches the peak of its activity cycle, the chances of such a storm hitting Earth increase along with the associated risks, including blackouts, disabled satellites and damaged mobile phones and GPS networks. In the most extreme scenarios, some electrical networks could be out of service for weeks or even months,” warned the NGO Planetary Society.

With the soon arrival of solar maximum, the Sun will be able to emit a greater number of energized particlesthrough large plasma ejections and magnetic fields known as coronal mass ejections, solar flares and increasing solar wind.

It can interfere with GPS.

Photo:iStock.

These particles could trigger geomagnetic stormslarge disturbances in the Earth’s magnetosphere and cause strongest northern lights.

“Solar activity is gaining strength, but scientists cannot determine whether solar maximum has occurred until at least seven months after the fact,” ‘Space’ added.

What types of solar storms exist?

According to NOAA, there are a total of five solar storms and their designation depends on the intensity of the X-rays emitted. For example, there are stages defined by letters: X, the most powerful; M, which are 10 times smaller than the previous one.

“There is category C, class B and finally class A, which are too weak to significantly affect the Earth,” explains the organization.

Experts explain that, fortunately, types A and B are the most common and do not involve devastating risks.

According to NASA, the appearance of these events can cause some damage such as problems with navigation systems, blackouts, and affected satellites. Additionally, geomagnetic storms can cause auroras to appear.

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