Storms Shock the Magnetosphere
storms can occur when a CME hits Earth’s magnetosphere. Magnetic storms
. . .
- Generate million-amp electric currents that distort the magnetosphere
and flow down into our upper atmosphere Most of the high-energy, electrically
charged particles in Earth’s magnetosphere are trapped in two doughnut-shaped
belts surrounding Earth: the Van Allen radiation belts. These belts
of dangerous particles were the first major discovery of the Space Age.
- Disturb the Van Allen radiation belts, which become filled with "killer
electrons" that can pierce the skin of a satellite and the cells of
- Cause spectacular, widespread auroras, even at low latitudes
- Damage power systems on Earth and interfere with broadcasting