Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Solar Flare Causes Intense Space Storm

Date:
September 28, 1998
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Rice University scientists report that a major geomagnetic storm began late on Sept. 24 and was continuing as of last Thursday. Intense auroral displays (the northern and southern lights) associated with the storm were reported at least as far south as Milwaukee.

HOUSTON, Sept. 25, 1998 -- Rice University scientists report that a major geomagnetic storm began late on Sept. 24 and was continuing as of last Thursday. Intense auroral displays (the northern and southern lights) associated with the storm were reported at least as far south as Milwaukee.

The storm was tracked by a Rice University space weather model running at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center, the nation's center of space weather services, in Boulder, Colo. The Rice model indicates that the boundary of the earth's magnetosphere--a teardrop-shaped region dominated by the earth's magnetic field--was pushed inside the geostationary orbit altitude, probably exposing communication and navigation satellites to shocked solar wind plasma. The model also indicates storm-generated electrons penetrated the earth's magnetosphere to an unusual depth.

John Freeman, Rice professor of space physics and astronomy, who led the development of the space weather modeling system, and graduate student Andrew Urquhart, an instrumental developer, are analyzing its data.

The geomagnetic storm measured 8.6 on a scale of 0 to 9 used to measure geomagnetic storm intensity. The speed of the solar wind that carries the energy for the storm from the sun reached nearly 1,000 km/s, about twice the normal speed, and the interplanetary magnetic field carried with the solar wind was unusually disturbed.

A storm of this intensity is seen only a few times per decade. This storm may be the harbinger of the next solar maximum due in the year 2000, Freeman says.

This storm apparently originated from an intense solar flare that occurred before midday on Sept. 23. In addition to the slower-moving solar wind plasma that takes a day to arrive at the earth and create the geomagnetic storm, the flare also produced large numbers of very energetic protons that travel at close to the speed of light and arrive at the earth in a few minutes. An additional burst of energetic protons arrived with the storm. Such protons have been known to reduce the output of satellite solar power arrays and could pose a hazard to unprotected astronauts. The storm was expected to subside within the next 24 hours.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Solar Flare Causes Intense Space Storm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980928072950.htm>.
Rice University. (1998, September 28). Solar Flare Causes Intense Space Storm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980928072950.htm
Rice University. "Solar Flare Causes Intense Space Storm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980928072950.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins