Every once in a while our Sun gives off a tremendous belch of high energy particles. Called a coronal mass ejection (CME), these episodes can vary in intensity, but they can produce bursts of electrical charge when they interact with our upper atmosphere in a geomagnetic storm. In a strange twist, new research shows…
Our planet is due to be hit with a powerful solar storm, an event that happens about once every hundred years. New research shows that losses from the ensuing blackouts could total $41.5 billion per day in the US alone, including nearly $7 billion lost in trade.
Every 100 years or so, our planet is bombarded by an intense solar storm. These extreme space-weather events are virtually impossible to predict, but new research shows which regions of the United States are at highest risk.
If you want to see beautiful auroras, forget Alaska, Canada, and Iceland—check out Jupiter. At the gas giant’s north pole, the most powerful and luminous northern lights in the solar system shimmer and glow in an endless geomagnetic storm that’s larger than our entire planet.
We’re all too familiar with the dangers posed by earthquakes, droughts, and hurricanes. But there’s another natural phenomena that represents a growing threat to our tech-driven society, and that’s space weather. And at long last, the US government seems to be taking the issue seriously.
The Carrington Event of 1859 has become a kind of sun-powered bogeyman. It was a solar storm that, today, would disrupt nearly every society in the world. In 1859, all did was to make for some very strange telegraph conversations.
There has been a giant magnetic explosion on the sun. A solar flare that scientists have classified as "extreme" is blasting its way towards our planet and could hit as early as Thursday.
Back on July 23, 2012 a furious solar magnetic storm just grazed our planet. Had it erupted just nine days earlier, it would have hit us, causing extensive damage to our technological infrastructure. It would have been a geomagnetic catastrophe the likes of which we've never seen. Scientists say the close shave should…
The UK government has announced plans to fund a new 24/7 space-weather forecasting service. As Elizabeth Gibney of Nature News reports, the Met Office warnings will protect satellites and help prevent blackouts on Earth. At a cost of £4.6-million ($7.5-million), the service could also warn of an incoming Carrington…
It's been a remarkable week of solar activity. Astronomers recorded several coronal mass ejections this week, including three that are currently hitting the Earth's magnetic field. An exquisite image of one of this week's many flares can be seen below.
The Sun can eject billions of tons of particles at velocities up to a million miles an hour. These solar storms are incredibly difficult to predict, but a recently developed citizen science project lets you help track these storms from right behind your keyboard.
The Sun is entering a period of seriously intense solar activity, releasing huge volleys of charged particles and plasma blobs into space, including the recent Valentine's Day X-class flare, the most extreme in years. So how much of a threat do these flares really pose, and how prepared are we for a seriously…
Last week, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory showed us the first clips of the Sun's burning storms. This week, it shows us billions of tons of plasma leaping from the Sun's surface and splashing down hours (and unfathomable kilometers) later.
If scientists gets their way, the first line of defense Earth will have against dangerous space storms will be dust. No, that's not a weird threat to destroy something; he wants to use dust-sized spacecraft to keep us safe.