What is the geological storm, the astronomical phenomenon that could cause a global blackout in the coming months

Giant glow expelled sunwhich will shake planetand this will strike the Earth’s magnetic field with extraordinary force, affecting electrical and communication networks, and will change activities that are no less important than navigation and aviation.

The premise may sound like a sci-fi movie, but it is a concrete phenomenon called a Geographical storm, which a group of Chilean physicists have tracked for years. In fact, according to his estimates, a major event will happen in the short term, specifically at the end of this year or during 2024.

“It can cause a lot of losses and a lot of communication problems,” he says. Pablo MoyaAcademician of the Department of Physics of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Chile.

The warning came from one of the three Chilean physicists from the House of Studies who conducted an investigation in this regard and published it in the scientific journal Space Weather.

In fact, the paper became the most widely read and downloaded scientific article of 2021, and it deals with the consequences of a space weather phenomenon called a geomagnetic storm, which is essentially Earth’s reaction to a strong kicking effect of energy from the sun in space.

“Solar flares, known as tsunamis or solar storms, produce radiation that spreads from the sun into space and strikes the Earth’s magnetic field, which reacts by causing a geomagnetic storm or geostorm, which are powerful emissions of energy,” explains Dr. Moya, a weather specialist. the space he works in a pot.

Pablo Moya, Academician of the Physics Department of the Faculty of Sciences of UD Chile, specializes in space weather and works for NASA.

In practice, they can cause this phenomenon darken the world And generate consequences like Power, internet and phone outages. The conclusions of the Chilean scientists are based on the results of a study on a series of events recorded between 1957 and 2019, from which they determined the probability of their occurrence and which could be of a moderate, severe or severe nature. In addition, the research demonstrated that geological storms depend on the strength of the solar cycle — which is roughly 11 years long — and on its different phases.

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“Solar Cycle 25, which has just begun and will end in 2034, should be stronger than the current one. The maximum should occur between this year and the next. The peak should come soon, ”warns the physicist.

An accompanying risk is that magnetic fields can disturb any conductive material, whether it is a high-voltage power line, a large oil pipeline, or a power station. “In addition, it disturbs the magnetic field measured by compasses. It therefore also has an impact on navigation and aviation, ”notes the Chilean academic.

Other consequences are related to satellites and damage to them from these events, affecting space exploration and technology that is periodically launched into space. “This type of research also helps to obtain an estimate of the aging of satellites, and to implement improvements in manufacturing materials, as severe storms can cause overloads and irreversible damage,” says researcher from the University of Chile, Paula Reyes. .

It was the first recorded phenomenon of this kind over 150 years ago and is known as the “Carrington event”. “It was so big, so big, that dawn was seen in Chile. There are reports that you could only read the newspaper at night in the light of dawn and all the telegraph lines went bad, and the workmen saw sparks flying from the telegraph lines so they disconnected them from the current, but the current caused by the twilight Made says scientist Pablo Moya:

great post Geomagnetic storm It was recorded in 2003 in the northern hemisphere, and caused an internet outage that lasted several days, when access to the web was much more restricted than it is today. “An event like this doesn’t happen anymore to this day. So one of the questions is how likely is it that it will happen tomorrow? So our work had something to do with that. We have the data and we can establish a statistical relationship to predict how likely it is that an extreme event will happen soon.”

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Meanwhile, Paula Reyes warns of the current scenario should the event occur. “If such a storm occurred today, it is possible that there would be a power outage for several hours due to the overload on the power lines from the induced electric current. Also, communication and television outages, which could lead to huge economic losses.”

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