Why solar storms are dangerous for people and equipment

(ORDO NEWS) — Adam Smith, a journalist for the British edition of The Independent, noted that scientists predict a magnetic storm on July 19 that can disrupt GPS and radio reception.

The consequences of a G1 class storm, which are very dangerous for satellites, can also be observed on July 20 and 21. What caused the magnetic storm, how will it affect technology and people?

Scientists forecast

Dr. Tamita Skov said the “serpentine filament” impact, which is the solar prominence eruption expected by NASA on July 19, is a “direct hit.”

She clarified that a signal disruption can happen on the night side of the Earth, and there is every reason to assume this. Skov also believes that in some regions of the Earth the northern lights will be observed.

However, there is a possibility that the consequences of the storm will appear only after a couple of days. According to SpaceWeather, a G1-class storm, defined as “minor,” is hazardous to satellite operations and may hit our planet on July 20 or 21.

Cause of the magnetic storm

The cause of the magnetic storm is a coronal mass ejection that occurred due to a solar flare on July 15. It was accompanied by an eruption of plasma and magnetic energy. A detailed storm is capable of releasing 100,000 times more energy than all the power plants on Earth generate in a year.

Storms occur when the Sun is in the active phase of its 11-year cycle. Scientists say that in the future such cases will become more frequent. On July 16–17, a prominence departed from the Sun, which is a huge structure of plasma and magnetic field.

“The gigantic size of the prominence is impressive. It’s amazing to see how the moving part is rapidly ejected and separated to the side,” Dr. Sebastian Woltmer told SpaceWeather.

The impact of magnetic storms on technology

Strong solar storms can seriously affect human activities. Several studies have shown that satellites are deorbiting due to increased activity of the solar wind, and microsatellites of the CubeSat standard are being completely eliminated.

These satellites are descending ten times faster than they have in the past, causing damage in the tens of millions of dollars.

However, scientists are able to predict magnetic storms according to certain criteria. It is believed that the precursor of cycle power is the maximum growth rate of sunspot activity. Thus, researchers manage to save vulnerable infrastructure – communications, electrical networks and the Internet.

Who is affected by magnetic storms?

Magnetic storms most affect the elderly and those with chronic diseases – cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, central and peripheral nervous systems, said anesthesiologist, resuscitator Gennady Myshkov.

“An adapted and healthy person tolerates this more safely and with less pronounced clinical manifestations and complaints. But still, people may experience some deviations – increased drowsiness, fatigue,” the doctor said in an interview with REN TV .

Why are magnetic storms dangerous for people?

Therapist Viktor Lishin explained: in connection with powerful solar flares, people may experience a sharp deterioration in well-being.

He noted that the risk group includes patients with hypertension, suffering from vascular problems and having blood clotting disorders. Due to magnetic storms, some experience pain in the head and joints, there are also interruptions in the work of the heart, and sleep becomes worse.

“Magnetic storms affect hypertensive patients, because they increase blood pressure and affect blood density.

Patients with thrombophilia are at risk. Discomfort can be experienced by people who have problems with blood vessels: cholesterol plaques, vascular calcification, atherosclerotic changes in blood vessels,” Lishin explained.

What to do during the period of magnetic fluctuations

Yan Gabinsky, director of the Ural Institute of Cardiology GBUS SO, recommended not to miss timely medication and to measure pressure in order to minimize the risk of magnetic storms.

Gennady Myshkov advised weather-dependent people and patients who have concomitant cardiovascular pathology or diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system to be more careful.

According to the resuscitator, it is important not to disrupt the normal physiological regime and not to expose yourself to excessive emotional and physical stress.


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