Monday, 20 January 2014

21st Century Problems (Solar Flares) √ (chosen)

Solar flares
Solar flares produce high energy particles and radiation that are dangerous to living organisms. However, at the surface of the Earth we are well protected from the effects of solar flares and other solar activity by the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. The most dangerous emissions from flares are energetic charged particles
The x-rays from flares are stopped by our atmosphere well above the Earth's surface. They do disturb the Earth'sionosphere, however, which in turn disturbs some radio communications. Along with energetic ultraviolet radiation, they heat the Earth’s outer atmosphere, causing it to expand. This increases the drag on Earth-orbiting satellites, reducing their lifetime in orbit. Also, both intense radio emission from flares and these changes in the atmosphere can degrade the precision of Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements.
The energetic particles produced at the Sun in flares seldom reach the Earth. When they do, the Earth's magnetic field prevents almost all of them from reaching the Earth's surface. The small number of very high energy particles that does reach the surface does not significantly increase the level of radiation that we experience every day.

Taken from:
http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sftheory/spaceweather.htm

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