The current magnetic storm was the most intense since 2006

Magnetic storm, which began on Earth on Thursday night and continuing to this day, was the most intense and prolonged to December 2006, the director of the Space Weather Center forecasts the Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN) Sergei Gaidash.

"This is the most intense and longest geomagnetic disturbance in December 2006, if you focus on Planetary Kp-index (index of magnetic disturbances)," — said the source.

Magnetic storms on Earth begin when the magnetosphere of the planet "hit" the Sun ejected plasmoids — coronal mass ejections, which are connected with X-ray flares. Charged particles cause geomagnetic disturbances when they reach great strength, it can lead to failures in electronic equipment, disruption to radio and electrical networks.

The cause of geomagnetic disturbances, which began the evening of 8 March, was managed to fly to the planet ejection of solar plasma, accompanied by a powerful X-ray flare on March 7.

The index of geomagnetic disturbances Kp, measured network of ground magnetic stations, initially rose to a level of 5 units — the minimum level, after which the perturbations are considered storm. At this value, the index stayed about 9 hours, and then dropped to the level of weak disturbances Kp = 4. But after four hours the storm began to grow again, and by Friday evening Kp index reached the value of 7 units — it corresponds to the class G3, that is a "strong magnetic storm."

According to the scale NOAA, during such storms are possible false alarm security systems of different sensors that respond to weak currents on the space vehicle can appear surface electric charge, which threatens the electronic equipment. Because of the "swelling" of the moon's atmosphere can lose height and orientation. It is also possible problems with the radio.

At this level, a magnetic storm lasted six hours, and then began to decline. By night the Kp index went into the "green" zone, but on Saturday morning again began to increase activity. Currently, the index reached a value of 5 units — the minimum level, which is considered a magnetic storm.

According Gaidash, in the near future is expected to fall geomagnetic activity, but can not be excluded because of the appearance of the limb (edge of the Sun) of new active regions, which can be source of new outbreaks, and hence new outbreaks of geomagnetic activity.

The scientist said that in March and September, always has been a rise of geomagnetic activity due to the nature and the relative position of the Earth of the interplanetary magnetic field.

In December of 2012 — early 2013, is expected to peak in solar activity in the current 11-year solar cycle.

"But, apparently, it will not be as significant as in previous cycles," — said Gaidash.Source:

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