How Do Solar Winds Affect the Earth?

By Ezmeralda Lee

What Are Solar Winds?

Solar winds are geomagnetic storms that are formed by charged particles radiated by the outer atmosphere of the sun. These winds are said to develop within the center of the sun, which is a hot volatile core. All planets are protected from the sun's magnetic power by a magnetic field that deflects the power of the sun. The two effects of solar winds that manage to permeate the magnetic field are geo magnetic storms and disruption of communication and other satellites positioned in outer space

Atmosphereic Effects

The solar winds ejected by the sun's corona or center are highly charged magnetic particles that travel through the atmosphere at 400 km per second. While each planet is protected by a magnetic field that deflects these charged volatile solar winds, the earth’s convenient position away form the sun is also a factor that keeps us protected from the ill effects of solar winds. Planets positioned closer to the sun experience considerable degeneration of the magnetic field through the power of solar winds.

Outside Interferences

We suffer the effects of solar winds on earth today because of the number of communication satellites in outer space. The magnetic field of solar distorts and even destroys the functioning of communication satellites. Astronauts and cosmonauts suffer serious radiation related health conditions if they are caught in the path of solar winds. Radiation from solar winds is known to cause chromosome damage and cancer, and these conditions may be fatal for humans in outer space. Radio and television communication and satellite based internet services are disrupted by solar winds. Military satellites are the affected the worst by solar winds. Geomagnetic storms caused by solar winds are very strong and can destabilize or destroy power grids. They also affect all navigation and communication systems especially for vessels at sea. Aircraft communications and instruments in the aircraft will be susceptible to faulty functioning during geomagnetic storms.

Effects on the Earth

The effects of solar winds on the earth that are visible to naked eye are the Aurora Borealis (the Northern lights) at the North Pole and the Aurora Australis (he Southern Lights) at the South Pole. The fiery tail seen attached to comets is the effect of solar winds visible to the naked eye.

Effects of Solar Winds Through History

Recorded instances of the effects of solar winds on earth are the displacement of the magnetic pole between 900 and 1500 B.C. from its original position near Murmansk in Russia to its present position near Canada. This displacement is attributed to the Aurorae. !n 1989 geomagnetic storms caused the destruction of the Hydro Quebec grid and many Canadians had to go without power for nine hours. The same storm affected the microchips in computers and caused the disruption of the Stock market in Canada. In 1998, the backup files of the heavily used communication satellite Galaxy were destroyed by a geomagnetic storm in outer space caused by solar winds, consequently halting the service to of 45 million pagers.

Solar Wind Damage

Solar winds are highly destructive magnetically charged high energy winds. Satellite communication on earth and the occasional geomagnetic storm near the poles are the main disruptive effects caused by solar winds on planet earth.