New Tool Could Predict Solar Storms

Magnetic storms aren’t what you’d call tech friendly, these storms damage electronics, disrupt communications, cause blackouts and can even subject pilots to high levels of radiation. Current technology can only give us a 30-60 minute head-start which isn’t enough to set up preventative measures. Though what would you do if you could predict a solar storm 24 hrs prior to impact would you brace for it or get to work?

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) eruptions of gas and magnetized material from the sun are the source of our problems, can be considered mother nature’s gremlins, though this new modelling tool could save the day, literally.

A team lead by Dr. Neel Savani a Visiting Researcher at Imperial College London and space scientist at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center have created a new measurement and modelling tool that could give more than 24 hrs notice of mass ejections that could be potentially harmful to Earth’s technology.

In the past predictions relied on measuring the initial CME eruption, but lacked efficiency modelling changes as it traveled towards the Earth. The new technique closely identifies the mass ejection’s origin making use of multiple observatories to track and model its evolution.

This model’s been tested on eight previous mass ejections, with results showing great promise. If further tests support these initial results, this system could be adopted by the NOAA in the US and Met Office in the UK for geomagnetic storm predictions.

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