Magnetic storm on its way to Earth: ‘Lots of energy’

A magnetic wave strikes the Earth at a speed of hundreds of kilometers per second. The US Weather Service SWPC warns of this. In addition, the wave may cause a “geomagnetic storm”. ASTRON’s Michiel Brentjens from Dwingeloo explains how all this could happen.

“The sun has been turbulent in recent days, and there have been several explosions. It happens because magnetic fields are entangled. And when they get out of control, a lot of energy is released,” says radio astronomer Brentjens. This energy is full of magnetic force and can have a huge impact if it collides with the magnetic field around the Earth.

Brentjens knows that “people who will notice something of this work, for example, in defense and international aid organizations and in aviation or shipping.” “They use wireless links and communications over great distances. These systems can break down. Another thing we can note is that GPS reception could be a little worse for a while.”

The SWPC ranks magnetic storms on a scale of 1 to 5, with the latter category being extreme. The storm coming to Earth tomorrow is nothing more than a Category 1 storm, according to the SWPC.

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