Geomagnetic Storms can destroy life on Earth- space weather from hell

    Scientists have derived a theory on how geomagnetic storms can threaten life on earth by using data from ESA’s Cluster and Swarm missions.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 23:19 IST
    geomagnetic storm
    Disturbance in Magnetosphere can lead to geomagnetic storms in what can be a space weather scene truly from hell. (AP)
    geomagnetic storm
    Disturbance in Magnetosphere can lead to geomagnetic storms in what can be a space weather scene truly from hell. (AP)

    Life on Earth depends on the bubble created by its magnetic field, also known as the magnetosphere. It's region that begins some 65,000 km from Earth during the day and can go on to be as much as 6,000,000 km during night. Recently scientists have discovered a new fact about how geomagnetic storms create space weather from hell type of scenario that can threaten all life on Earth by using information from ESA's Cluster and Swarm missions and measurements from the ground.

    Geomagnetic storm can affect space weather 

    The Earth's Magnetosphere is formed due to interactions between its magnetic field and supersonic wind flowing from the Sun. These interactions are extremely dynamic and consist of complicated magnetic field configurations and electric current systems; certain solar conditions, like space weather, can affect it. These solar conditions drive highly energetic particles and currents that disrupt space-based hardware such as satellites as well as ground-based communication networks, and power systems.

    ESA's trio of Swarm satellites was launched in 2013 and is used largely to measure the magnetic signals generated by Earth as well as from the ionosphere and magnetosphere and they also provide various insights into space weather .

    Scientists have got a unique opportunity to dig deep into Earth's magnetosphere because of these satellites and understand the risks of space weather. quoted Malcolm Dunlop, from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK, as saying, “Together with other measurements taken from Earth's surface, we were able to confirm that intense magnetic field perturbations near Earth are connected to the arrival of bursty bulk flows (bursts of ions travelling extremely fast) further out in space.”

    The brief of study is published in a paper in Geophysical Research Letters.

    According to the theory, the charged particles can damage communication networks and navigation systems such as GPS, and satellites. Also, these storms can affect Earth's surface and subsurface, that can cause electricity blackouts on a large scale. And if the geomagnetic storms are big enough they can even damage all communications systems on Earth. It is a circle of sorts. Once power is hit, it will knock out the Internet, which in turn will hit all communications systems on Earth, including even your humble smartphone - no power, no charging of phone. Also, it has been theorised that Geomagnetic storms can also knock out Internet globally for months altogether by disrupting the undersea cables that carry most of the Internet load of the world. However, some regions on Earth may be more affected than others.

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    First Published Date: 05 Jan, 10:11 IST
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