Magnetic Storms Research Paper

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Introduction Geomagnetic storm is an important phenomenon in space weather. Space weather includes activities on the sun, and their associated effects on the Earth (HKO). Geomagnetic storms can disrupt our technology, from telecommunication to electricity, the fundamental basis of technology. With more sophisticated and widespread use of technology, geomagnetic storm becomes more threatening to us. Therefore, we should be more aware of geomagnetic storms. In this essay, I will first discuss the basics of geomagnetic storms, including their origin, mechanism and processes, and in the later parts I will talk about the potential effects of geomagnetic storms on Earth’s atmosphere and human activities. What is Geomagnetic Storm? Geomagnetic…show more content…
While slow, normal solar wind (<400 km/s) can sometimes cause minor storms, it is not considered a major source as it only contributes to a small amount of weak storms. CMEs carry a huge amount of plasma, together with part of sun’s magnetic field, to the interplanetary space. CMEs often forms with solar flares, but CMEs can occur on their own as well (citation needed). CME with solar flare occurs on active regions on the sun, which are groups of sunspots with strong magnetic field. The magnetic field of the active region is unstable, they twist, and then magnetic reconnection occurs when two magnetic field lines pointing to opposite directions meet, converting the stored magnetic energy into kinetic energy and radiation (citation needed). While the kinetic energy fueled the CME, the radiation is released in the form of solar…show more content…
Systems that are involved include telegraph and radio communication. In the past, before other means of telecommunication appear, telegraph was the only way for long range communication in the 19th century. Telegraphs were affected by geomagnetic storms. An example is the Carrington Event in 1859, which is the largest geomagnetic storm ever observed (citation needed). The storm is caused by a solar flare, followed by a CME that arrived 18 hours after the flare. The storm induced geomagnetically induced current (GIC), which is the current flowing on ground level due to the large variation in magnetic field in the atmosphere. The current flow through telegraph lines, destroyed the telegraph system, burnt out telegraph lines, delivered electric shocks to telegraph operators, and there were reports that some telegraph stations even continued to operate without batteries (citation needed). While the technology level is much lower than nowadays, the damage is not great. If a Carrington-sized storm is to hit the Earth now, it will cost billions and may take months to years to rebuild the damaged

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