Solar flares or solar storm 2012 are making waves. Meanwhile Aurora borealis or northern lights have dazzled sky watchers in Europe and the US today
Solar storm that is hitting the earth right now has forced many an airlines to divert the flights. There are other threats of communication links being snapped up and satellite links being broken, but so far the impact has not been that big. Many have feared that even telecom lines and internet connections may be disconnected.
Meanwhile scientists have said that the solar storm that contained radiation from Sun is the biggest of its kind in decades and can threaten telecom and internet connections in many parts of the US and Europe.
Delta Air Lines is one of the several airlines that have changed the routes of its flights from the path of solar flare. Radiation storm might have threatened the communication equipmentsâ€™ proper functioning in the planes, say aviation experts.
People across the world are becoming worried about the solar storm. Meanwhile a NASA report says that â€œCoronal mass ejections are more likely to have a significant effect on our activities than flares because they carry more material into a larger volume of interplanetary space, increasing the likelihood that they will interact with the Earth. While a flare alone produces high-energy particles near the Sun, some of which escape into interplanetary space, a CME drives a shock wave which can continuously produce energetic particles as it propagates through interplanetary space. When a CME reaches the Earth, its impact disturbs the Earth’s magnetosphere, setting off a geomagnetic storm. A CME typically takes 3 to 5 days to reach the Earth after it leaves the Sun. Observing the ejection of CMEs from the Sun provides an early warning of geomagnetic storms. Only recently, with SOHO, has it been possible to continuously observe the emission of CMEs from the Sun and determine if they are aimed at the Earthâ€.
While the world talks about the consequences of solar flare on earth, another NASA report has this to say, â€œOne serious problem that can occur during a geomagnetic storm is damage to Earth-orbiting satellites, especially those in high, geosynchronous orbits. Communications satellites are generally in these high orbits. Either the satellite becomes highly charged during the storm and a component is damaged by the high current that discharges into the satellite, or a component is damaged by high-energy particles that penetrate the satellite. We are not able to predict when and where a satellite in a high orbit may be damaged during a geomagnetic stormâ€.
Meanwhile the solar flare is also providing dazzling lighting show for the sky watchers who keep an eye on falling meteors. Many sky watchers have been amazed by the amount of lighting that was produced by the solar storm.
John Mason, an astronomer says, â€œIt has been absolutely incredibleâ€¦I saw my first aurora 40 years ago, and this is one of the bestâ€.