Is today’s geomagnetic storm really so dangerous? What side effects of the powerful Solar flare will face these days?
Indeed, on September 14-15 the most powerful magnetic storm for the previous dozen years will cover the Earth. It will be provoked by coronal mass ejections consequent upon the Solar flares. Their activity peak was on September 6. A total of seven flares were ejected by Sun’s Active Region 2673 for the period from September 4 till September 6 (as a rule, such activity periods last about 3 days). Solar flare obtained class X, which means that it is among top powerful ones. Moreover, it was ranked as 9.3. The weakest among “powerful” flares is ranked as X1, and flare ranked X9.3, is, consequently, 9.3-fold more powerful.
As a comparison: in March 1989 geomagnetic storm caused malfunction of power grids in Canada, resulting in being of the entire country under cover of darkness during 9 hours. Well-known “Quebec Blackout” was triggered by flare ranked X15. At the same time, all the territory of the Earth had radio communication outages, and, moreover, “polar lights” were seen far to the south of the Arctic Circle – up to the south of Mexico (as a comparison: to the south of Egypt, along the latitudes of northern Thailand).
On the night of September 14 to September 15, the main plasma flows, unleashed on September 6, will reach the Earth. What’s wrong with that?
There will be “blackouts”, similar to historical one in Canada, – power grids were modernized since then. But radio communication and geolocation systems may suffer malfunctions. When it comes to astronauts, participants of international expedition to the ISS will shelter themselves in special capsules.
Those, who travel by air also have the risk of being exposed to more than usual radiation exposure: thick atmosphere slice protects those being at sea level, and flying at an altitude of about 10 km increases the risk. And even those, who has no scheduled flights, may feel themselves uncomfortable. Persons having chronic disease are advised to give serious consideration to their health – doctors sya that geomagnetic activity negatively affects the entire body.
Positive aspect of this is that scientists suggest that “polar lights” may be seen up to the latitudes of Central and Southern Europe. So, inhabitants of Ukraine will probably have a chance to evidence the breathtaking view, but still chance is slim, and lights will not have those colors that we used to see on the pictures from the northern regions. Lights, if any, will likely to be wine-dark rather than bright-green or blue.