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Solar Storms Responsible For Removing Electrons From Our Atmosphere

Ever wondered what is responsible for creating the magical Northern Lights across the Arctic which many flock to see? A new study may hold the answer.

A new research by Denmark Technological University suggests that millions of electrically charged particles are transmitted to the Earth, which create storms that may generate the Aurora Borealis lights across the Arctic.

The researchers share that not only do eruptions that occur on the surface of the sun transmit particles to our planet's atmosphere, but also eradicate the electrons over a massive area.

However, the onset of these solar storms can negatively impact the navigation system, as well as the communication systems' efficiency at higher altitudes.

To get an in-depth knowledge about the solar storms, a research was conducted by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, University of Illinois, DTU Space, and University of Brunswick.

The Solar Storm Research

The researchers reveal that a strange phenomenon is at play at the time of solar storms. During these storms, a gust of electrons is sent into ionosphere, which begins 49.7 miles above the Earth's atmosphere.

The solar storms mainly take place at the high latitudes, as a result of the creation of the magnetic field which takes form due to the eruptions on the sun's surface. This magnetic field creates an interference with that of our planet's. As a result, the magnetic field opens up and enables electrons and particles to seep through to the ionosphere. Normally, these would be reflected.

With the help of the measurements from solar storms over the Arctic recorded in 2014, it was analyzed by Professor Per Høeg from DTU Space, that the electrons got removed from the atmosphere from areas that extended over 310 miles to 612 miles.

He also mentioned that due to the creation of the high burst, which is the result of the solar winds, the magnetic field undergoes major alterations in the region between the magnetic field of the Earth and solar winds, which in turn is a catalyst for energy bursts.

"The forerunner to the phenomenon is a violent eruption on the Sun's surface-also known as coronal mass ejections or CME, where bubbles of hot plasma and gas in the form of particles, electrons, and a magnetic field are hurled in the direction of the Earth," he noted.

How The Research Will Help

According to Tibor Durgonics, a PHD student at DTU Space, the research is very useful for future experiments and the theories will help decode pther various phenomena.

He further stated that the research carried out will also make navigation safe during the ionospheric storms in the Arctic region.

The main reason for conducting this research was to understand the solar storms, which impact satellite signals' efficiency. Solar storms are also known to affect GPS signals, damages radio signals and power cuts can occur due to these solar storms.

The study has been published in the journal Radio Science.

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