Solar storms are fascinating and complex phenomena that can have a significant impact on our lives, so in this blog, we will be exploring, what solar storms are, how they initiate, and what precautions can be taken to avoid their impact.
What is a solar storm?
Solar storms are the impact of charge particle clouds that get released from the Sun on Earth. They get initiated by a variety of processes that occur on the sun. Like solar flares, solar prominences, and coronal mass ejections. The solar activities happen because of magnetic energy that gets built up at the surface of the sun. Because of that huge amount of energy that needs to get released from the Sun when it gets unstable, only the effect of those solar activities on the atmosphere of Earth is called a solar storm.
Through our Space Explorers Workshop, “Interview with the sun”, our educators impersonate as Sun and to learn more about the Sun, including its size, form, and distance from other bodies, students will conduct interviews with the Sun. Additionally, they will learn a plethora of new facts, such as why the Sun shines so brightly and why we can’t see it well.
Numerous misconceptions will be dispelled in this conversation, along with numerous warnings regarding sun observation. To determine the need for these precautions, they will conduct an experiment. Pupils will use a telescopic projection, ball projector, solar view goggles, pinhole projector, and filtered telescope to view the Sun.
How do solar storms initiate?
How these solar storms get initiated, you might ask so the answer is simple, because of solar activity.
Solar activity – as you may already know that the sun is also a super huge magnet and the sun’s surface is a dynamic environment with the constantly shifting magnetic activity.
When magnetic fields become twisted with each other they can release vast amounts of energy in the form of solar flares, solar prominences, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). When these radiations (mostly charged particles) get directed towards Earth then it can affect our planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere.
Precautions to avoid impact:
Solar storms have the potential to impact technology and communication systems on Earth because of that various precautions should be taken to minimize their effects.
For example, space weather monitoring which allows scientists to predict and track solar activity
Also, governments and different space agencies worldwide are closely monitoring the sun’s behavior to provide us with the advanced warnings when these huge solar storms are about to hit us.
Satellites and other space-based technology can temporarily shut down or it can shield their sensitive instruments at the time of solar storms because they are more exposed to these dangers because they don’t get the good protection from this harmful radiation coming from the Sun as they are not completely covered by the Magnetosphere.
What is Magnetosphere?
It is the best protection for Earth from this harmful radiation coming from the Sun, as you all know that Earth is also a big magnet and it has magnetic influence around the Earth that works as a protective envelope. As it deflects the solar wind and prevents atmospheric erosion from these charged particles coming from space.
Well, most of the time solar storms are not that powerful to harm us but we cannot be sure because the size of the Sun and its huge energy have the potential to obliviate us from existence but it’s highly unlikely.
Recently solar storms have become the subject of myths and fictional stories that may make for captivating entertainment like in movies and books and also in news channels sometimes. But the reality is far less dramatic because we have made good advancements in technology and our understanding of space weather, the potential risk is quite low.
What happened in December 2023?
The Sun was quite active this month and we have observed some of the biggest solar flares in the recent decades. It also created a radio Blackout over Australia. That makes it more important to understand solar behavior better in the future.
What is the big Heliophysics year?
It is an initiative of NASA. It is the global celebration of the study of the sun and its effect on Earth and on different places in the solar system. NASA has launched a Heliophysics big year that will start from October 2023 to December 2024. In this period NASA is encouraging every citizen scientist in the world to demonstrate some scientific demonstration or observation related to the Sun to the public. And not only science people but anyone who wants to celebrate the existence of the sun can create their own event like dance, music, and different kinds of art related to the Sun.
The youth of the nation have space and astronomy as their future. This is an excellent way to instill a scientific temperament in people of all backgrounds. Space India’s astronomy programs will give students a practical learning environment where they can gain insight into the real world of science.