Space Weather Impacts
no need to run for cover from space weather.
Storms from the Sun do not
directly harm life on Earth – but they
do affect the way we live – particularly
since we rely so much on modern technology.
Can Space Weather Do?
weather can pose a radiation hazard for
astronauts. Space storms disturb the Van
Allen radiation belts, which become filled
with "killer electrons" that
can pierce the skin of a satellite and
the cells of an astronaut. In August 1972,
an intense solar flare that occurred between
the flights of Apollo 16 and 17 would have
killed the astronauts if they had been
on the way to the Moon or on the Moon during
weather can distort radio signals and navigation
such as Loran
and the Global Positioning System. In March
1989, listeners in Minnesota could hear the
broadcasts of the California Highway Patrol.
in space can disrupt and cut short the
work of satellites.
1997, a communications satellite (Telstar
401) went dead just hours after a coronal
mass ejection (CME) struck the magnetosphere.
The loss of that satellite disrupted television
signals, telephone calls, and part of a U.S.
storms can pump extra electricity into
our power lines
and pipelines, causing
blackouts and fuel leaks. In 1989 a magnetic
storm burned up a $36 million transformer
in New Jersey and collapsed the entire power
grid in Quebec, Canada, leaving six million
people without electricity.