Shocking solar flares, dangerous Geomagnetic storms to lovely auroras, know how they are sparked | Tech News

Shocking solar flares, dangerous Geomagnetic storms to lovely auroras, know how they are sparked

How are auroras formed? It basically starts from a stream of energy waves from the Sun referred to as solar flares and these can generate dangerous geomagnetic storms on Earth, which can be destructive and yet beautiful too.

| Updated on: Jul 17 2022, 20:34 IST
How do solar flares and geomagnetic storms result in mind-blowing auroras on Earth? Know here. (Unsplash)
How do solar flares and geomagnetic storms result in mind-blowing auroras on Earth? Know here. (Unsplash)

Auroras are one of the natural scenic wonders seen on the Earth's extremities- the poles. These are extremely beautiful, multi-coloured, lights in the sky. But what goes into creating these dazzling auroras? What makes them appear at the poles of the Earth? Let us start from the beginning. Those spectacular views of auroras that you enjoy are actually the aftermath of the burst of huge energy waves from the Sun that are ejected in the direction of Earth. These streams of energy travel around 93 million miles from the Sun, which actually result in two phenomena - CMEs and solar flares. They ultimately spark geomagnetic storms on Earth. What are these? How do they impact Earth? Know everything here.

What are CMEs and solar flares?

The explosion of a stream of energy from the surface of the sun can be categorised into two events. First is the CMEs - the coronal mass ejection, which can be understood as the massive solar particle eruptions due to intense flares from the sun. CMEs fire an abundance of plasma, gases and magnetic fields out into space, often from the Sunspots which are lumps in the Sun's magnetic field. This usually takes 1-5 days to reach Earth.

Second, there is a solar flare, a powerful and very serious eruption of electromagnetic radiation generated on the surface of the Sun. These sudden outbursts of electromagnetic energy travel at shocking speeds and can reach the earth within hours. And if it is the most intense solar flare, then it can even reach our planet within 8 minutes!

Though Earth's magnetic field and upper atmosphere work as a shield and protect Earth from these furious solar flares, they can still have a significant effect! How? They can spark geomagnetic storms.

What are Geomagnetic storms and how does they impact Earth

A Geomagnetic storm is the result of solar flares. It is basically a severe disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere. Though it poses no threat to humans on Earth, it can surely leave everyone without electricity, mobile phones, GPS and send satellites tumbling down from the sky! That means everything that depends on electricity can get affected. More the intensity of the solar flare, more the strength of the geomagnetic storm, which implies a stronger impact on Earth.

So far, the Carrington Event of 1859 was the strongest geomagnetic storm on record and it caused massive destruction. It led to widespread terror as the telegraph system started giving electrical shocks to the operators, sparked fire in offices and a lot more. No other geomagnetic storm matched the intensity of the Carrington event till date. Well, Scientists estimate that a solar storm of that magnitude, if it were to hit the Earth today, has the potential to cause around $2 trillion in damage while affecting up to 40 million people!

Besides the terror of the solar flares on Earth, they also spark auroras! These sparkling lights are mainly caused by the solar winds in space, basically the charged particles from the Sun, which accelerate through the field lines of the Earth's magnetic field. That's how solar flares give birth to the auroras!

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 17 Jul, 20:33 IST