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Power systems: : widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems can occur, some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may experience damage.
Spacecraft operations: may experience extensive surface charging, problems with orientation, uplink/downlink and tracking satellites.
Other systems: pipeline currents can reach hundreds of amps, HF (high frequency) radio propagation may be impossible in many areas for one to two days, satellite navigation may be degraded for days, low-frequency radio navigation can be out for hours, and aurora has been seen as low as Florida and southern Texas (typically 40° geomagnetic lat.)**.
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by N3krostatic
I didn't say a geomagnetic storm wasn't a serious matter. I said solar storms do not cause the magnetosphere to "collapse" and leave us exposed to the solar wind as claimed by the OP. The harder the solar wind pushes, the harder the magnetosphere pushes back.
[edit on 7/1/2009 by Phage]
Originally posted by lel1111
Interesting. So if there's a severe solar storm and if the magnetosphere collapses, what's the worst that could happen to us?
"The opening was huge—four times wider than Earth itself," says Wenhui Li, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire who has been analyzing the data. Li's colleague Jimmy Raeder, also of New Hampshire, says "1027 particles per second were flowing into the magnetosphere—that's a 1 followed by 27 zeros. This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible."
The event began with little warning when a gentle gust of solar wind delivered a bundle of magnetic fields from the Sun to Earth. Like an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a big clam, solar magnetic fields draped themselves around the magnetosphere and cracked it open. The cracking was accomplished by means of a process called "magnetic reconnection." High above Earth's poles, solar and terrestrial magnetic fields linked up (reconnected) to form conduits for solar wind. Conduits over the Arctic and Antarctic quickly expanded; within minutes they overlapped over Earth's equator to create the biggest magnetic breach ever recorded by Earth-orbiting spacecraft.
Most kids have hobbies, but David Hahn's was slightly more exotic - atomic chemistry. While he was working on his Atomic Energy merit badge for the Boy Scouts, he built a nuclear reactor in his garden shed