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This picture shows material from the Sun coming towards the Earth. It is the Sun's magnetic field carried in this material that causes magnetic storms.
NASA

Geomagnetic Storms

Have you ever been in a storm here on Earth? Sometimes during storms we are familiar with, it rains, it lightnings and it gets really windy. There are other storms that happen too. They are called geomagnetic storms. "Geo" means the storms affect the Earth and "magnetic" means that they are magnetic storms (instead of rain or thunderstorms).

Basically, the Sun's magnetic field causes storms in our magnetic field. We need to understand these storms because sometimes they can have a bad effect on life here on Earth. Geomagnetic storms can affect radio communication, satellite drag, auroral activity and even the safety of astronauts in Earth orbit.

Last modified March 29, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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