Explore the fascinating world of solar cycles and auroras with insights from Dr. Martin Connors, an astronomy professor at Athabasca University. Discover how Solar Cycle 25’s approaching peak is bringing breathtaking auroras to North America and learn about the potential impact on technology.
Solar Activity :
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Understand the science behind these celestial displays and find reassurance in the experts’ efforts to prepare for any possible disruptions. Embark on a journey into the cosmos and marvel at the beauty while gaining insights into the delicate balance between nature’s wonders and technological advancements.
Solar Cycle Patterns:
The article discusses cyclical patterns in natural phenomena, such as the El Niño effect and the solar cycle, which is currently approaching its peak.
Dr. Martin Connors, a professor at Athabasca University, highlights that the solar maximum of Solar Cycle 25 is bringing stunning auroras to North America, exceeding earlier predictions.
Connors notes an increase in auroras over the last few years due to heightened solar activity. He recommends seeking dark skies in northern Alberta for the best aurora viewing.
The article explains that auroras result from solar activity, generating solar wind that interacts with Earth’s magnetic field and atmospheric particles, creating beautiful light displays in the night sky.
With the peak of Solar Cycle 25, there is an increased risk of technological disturbances. Connors draws parallels to the Carrington Event of 1859, which caused disruptions to the global telegraph system.
Airplane and Satellite Impact:
Increased solar activity can affect airplane communication over the North Pole, exposing passengers to more radiation. Satellites in space can also be influenced, potentially damaging electronics.
Power Grid Vulnerability:
Auroras can impact power grids by causing compasses to wander, creating an electric effect that power grids aren’t built for. The article cites a 1989 incident in Quebec as an example.
While major catastrophes like the Carrington Event are unlikely, experts are using data on solar activity to inform preventative measures and improve the resilience of technological systems.
Connors stresses that while such events are possible, they are not likely to cause major disruptions. The article encourages awareness but cautions against unnecessary worry about these possibilities.
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