This article was originally published on The Conversation. The book contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
David WallaceMedical Assistant of Electrical Engineering, Mississippi State University
On Sept. 1 and 2, 1859, telegraph systems around the world were not damaged. Users of the telegraphs reported receiving electric shocks, telegraph paper burning, and that they were able to make tools by cutting buttons. In the evening, the aurora borealis, which is seen in the northern lights, can be seen all the way to Colombia. Typically, these lights are only seen at high latitudes, in northern Canada, Scandinavia and Siberia.
What the world saw that day, called the Carrington Event, was a major geomagnetic disaster. These disasters occur when a large mass of very hot gas called plasma is released from the sun’s surface and hits the Earth. This swelling is known as coronal mass ejection.
The plasma coronal mass ejection into a world of protons and electrons, which are electrical particles. When these particles arrive on Earth, they interact with the magnetic field that surrounds the Earth. This process distorts and weakens the magnetic field, which in turn leads to abnormalities of the aurora borealis and other natural phenomena. As a power engineer, I’m learning about the threat of geomagnetic storms destroying power and the system and how to prevent that.
The Carrington Event of 1859 was the largest recorded event of a geomagnetic disaster, but it was not an isolated event.
Geomagnetic storms have been recorded since the beginning of the 19th century, and scientific data from Antarctic ice core samples show a much larger geomagnetic storm that occurred around AD 774, now Miyake. Event. That solar flare produced the largest and fastest rise in carbon-14 trapped. Geomagnetic damage initiates a large number of cosmic rays in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, which emit carbon-14, a radioactive isotope of carbon.
A 60% less geomagnetic storm was reported than the Miyake Event around AD 993. Ice core data showed large geomagnetic storms with the same intensity as the Miyake and Carrington events on average. once every 500 years.
Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses the Geomagnetic Storms scale to measure the intensity of these solar volcanoes. The “G scale” ranges from 1 to 5 with G1 being the smallest and G5 the highest. The Carrington G5 event is listed.
It’s even more terrifying when you compare the Carrington event to the Miyake event. Scientists were able to estimate the intensity of the Carrington event as a result of a change in the Earth’s magnetic field recorded by observers at the time. There is no way to measure the magnetic fluctuation of the Miyake event. But scientists have been measuring the rise of carbon-14 in wood rings since then. The Miyake Event increased carbon-14 by 12%. In comparison, the Carrington Event was less than 1% of the carbon-14 increase, so the Miyake Event was larger than the G5 Carrington Event.
Knocking on power
Today, a geomagnetic disaster like the Carrington Event is more impactful than telegraph wires to the point of disaster. With the ever -increasing reliance on electricity and emerging technology, any problem can lead to trillions of dollars in financial loss and life -threatening problems due to the systems. Damage affects most of the electrical systems that people use on a daily basis.
Geomagnetic currents emit embedded currents, which flow through the electric field. Geomagnetically applied currents, which can be more than 100 amperes, flow into electrical components attached to the wall, such as transformers, relays and sensors. One hundred amperes as electrical service is provided to many buildings. Seasons of this magnitude can be destructive in parts, leading to the loss of great power.
The geomagnetic storm was much smaller than the Carrington Event in Quebec, Canada, in March 1989. The storm destroyed the Hydro-Quebec hydroelectric power plant. During the storm, magnetic currents damaged a transformer in New Jersey and damaged the grid’s circuit breakers. In this case, 5 million people were left without power for nine hours.
In addition to power issues, communications will be cut all over the world. Web servers can go down, which takes away the ability of different systems to communicate with each other. High-speed communication systems such as over-the-air radio, short-wave and radio will be eliminated. Satellites in orbit around the Earth can be damaged by currents triggered by geomagnetic storms that burn up their orbits. This will lead to problems with telephony based on satellite, internet, radio and television.
In addition, when geomagnetic storms strike the Earth, the increase in solar activity increases the amount of space outside. This increase changes the thickness of the atmosphere around which the satellites surround. The high altitude creates a pull of a satellite, which slows it down. And if it is not moved to a higher orbit, it could fall to Earth again.
Another area that threatens our daily lives is our navigation systems. Every type of vehicle, from cars to airplanes, uses GPS for navigation and tracking. Handheld devices such as cell phones, smart watches and watch signals rely on GPS signals sent from satellites. Military systems rely heavily on GPS for navigation. Military intelligence systems such as over-the-horizon radar and submarine intelligence systems could be eliminated, which threatens national defense.
In terms of the system, a geomagnetic storm on the scale of the Carrington Event could create currents that are geomagnetically inserted into the submarine and terrestrial chains to form the backbone of the system. with data servers to store and manage everything from email and emails. to scientific data sets and technical tools. This will probably disable the entire system and prevent servers from connecting to each other.
It’s only a matter of time
It was only a matter of time before the Earth was hit by a geomagnetic storm. The Carrington Event will be devastating to electrical and communications systems around the world as the weeks come to an end. If the damage to the Miyake Event is greater, the consequences for the world will be devastating and could last for months if not longer. Even with weather data from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, Earth’s time is only minutes.
I think it is important to continue to research ways to prevent electrical systems from the effects of geomagnetic disasters, for example by installing devices that can prevent such disasters. as well as modifiers and the development of plans for handling related cargo in the event of a solar storm. In short, work needs to be done now to reduce the risks from the future Carrington event.
This article is republished The Conversation under the Creative Commons license. Read to Original article.