Of light shows, solar winds and Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

Of light shows, solar winds and Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015: Since we at SimpliSolar are professionals in harnessing solar energy from the Sun via solar PV systems, we are also very well aware of other interactions between the Sun and our planet, Earth apart from just solar radiation i.e. sunlight from the Sun. Hence, we will take a look at something a little more aesthetic for the day.

1. Aurorae
According to Wikipedia, “An aurora is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions.”This phenomenon is indeed a pretty sight to behold as can be seen in the picture above and since this is not a science journal of sorts, we’ll leave out most of the technical stuff and dive straight into how they are formed. Aurorae are basically produced once Solar Winds from the Sun interact with the Earth’s magnetosphere, thus, causing ionization of Oxygen and Nitrogen to take place, which are responsible for the green/orange-red or blue/red colors respectively.


2. Solar Winds
Since Aurorae are caused by Solar Winds, it is only natural that we aks the quesion, “What are Solar Winds?” According to NASA, a Solar Wind is a constant stream of solar coronal material that flows off the Sun which is much less denser than the wind on Earth, however, they travel much faster. Think of that scene from the movie Fantastic Four in 2005, where the team was tidalled by this massive burst of orange wind in space. Yeah, that one.


3. Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)
Last and definitely not the least, we explore a little bit about Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) which, according to NASA, “is a cloud of magnetized solar material that erupts from the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, into interplanetary space. CMEs do often occur at the same time as a flare, and scientists currently study how the two phenomena are connected. At their largest, CMEs can contain 10 billion tons of matter, and they can move at speeds of up to 4 million miles an hour. Just after blowing into space, a CME cloud can grow as wide as 30 million miles across, 35 times the diameter of the sun.” Also a good point to note is that powerful Earth-directed CMEs can cause chaos and unrest because of its following geomagnetic storms which potentially disrupt power grids and satellite navigation.

Which reminds us that just 2 days ago, on 26 October 2015, there was a published study which stated that, “solar storms could be much more powerful than previously assumed. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have now confirmed that Earth was hit by two extreme solar storms more than 1000 years ago.” and if ever they would to hit Earth again this day, “they could have devastating effects on our power supply, satellites and communication systems”, says Raimund Muscheler at the Department of Geology, Lund University.

Currently there is no way of forecasting and preventing such interstellar phenomena to take place, hence, our best approach when reading stuff like this is to make the best of what we have now by harnessing as much energy as we can to perhaps create an energy supply back-up when all else fails?

On that note, why not invest in a solar PV system today?
It is just a phone call away at +603-5036 6198. Have an awesome Wednesday!


Source(s): Lund University, EarthSky

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