When is the next solar storm expected? What effects could you expect? On that note, how far away from the Sun does a solar flare shoot?
Solar storms (which usually include flares) are associated with high numbers of sunspots. The next sunspot maximum will occur sometime in the years 2000 or 2001. So the next solar storms are predicted to occ
ur during this time period.
The solar flares which are produced during solar storms could produce drastic effects here on Earth. These solar flares, which arch about 400,000 kilometers above the Sun, produce an increase in the number of charged particles which enter the Earth's at
mosphere. This can disrupt long-distance radio communications. It also makes the aurorae (the Northern and Southern lights) brighter. So in the next few years, if you see an aurora where you've never seen it before
, it is might just be caused by a solar storm!
The image shows how big a solar flare is compared to the size of the Earth!
Submitted by Johan (South Africa)
Submitted by Elliot (England)
(September 17, 1997)
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