Solar Storms Remove Electrons From Atmosphere Of Earth

Posted: Mar 4 2017, 3:04am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Solar Storms Remove Electrons From Atmosphere of Earth
  • Solar storms trigger surprising phenomena close to Earth

Solar storms send clouds of particles to Earth

DTU’s research suggests that sun’s surface eruption sends particles on earth and also destroys electrons. The research helps us understand sun storms, navigation and communication around Arctic.

Sun’s eruptions send particles to earth that are electrically charged; creating storms that may trigger aurora lights across arctic. These solar storms also affect navigation and communication systems at heights so they need to be researched.

The research was conducted by DTU Space, university of Brunswick, and NASA Jet Propulsion Library, and University of Illinois.

During storms heavy clouds of particles are sent to earth’s atmosphere, 80 km above earth. The event happens at high latitudes and occurs due to magnetic fields that happen due to eruption on sun’s surface. The phenomenon is not new, but it destroys electrons and that a new discovery.

The research team had many measurements from solar storms over Arctic in 2014, and found that electrons were removed from over 500 to 1000km, said Professor PerHøeg from DTU Space.

The research results were published in the scientific journal Radio Science, and it will help scientists understand solar storm. Though, the discovery is small, but researchers are trying to find how it happens.

The magnetic field undergoes several changes due to solar winds, creating high burst. Sun’s eruption is called CME in which hot plasma and gases are created as particles, electrons, and magnetic fields move towards earth, said Per Høeg.

The research does not end here, instead it can be used for further experiments and the theoretical part will help understand the phenomenon, said Tibor Durgonics, PhD student at DTU Space and main author of this research article.

“There are two aspects of this research. It can both be used for a number of practical purposes, and then there is a theoretical part which is about achieving a better basic understanding of these phenomena,” said Tibor.

“Our work can contribute to making navigation more reliable during ionospheric storms in the Arctic region. Our new research has enabled us to identify a number of critical factors that affect the quality of satellite-based navigation, and to assess the probability of when these factors may occur. At a more theoretical level, we have found out that during solar storms, electrons are removed in the ionosphere, which is the opposite of what you intuitively would expect.”

Solar storms understanding is very important, because satellite signals are essential for society and solar storms hinder GPS satellites and their signals, damaging the radio communications and power failure also happens.

DTU Space is also busy in several other researches under ESA and the EU’s Horizon 2020 program.

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