If a major solar storm (solar-flare) reaches the Earth, which of the following are the possible. effects on the Earth?

  1. GPS and navigation systems could fail.
  2. Tsunamis could occur at equatorial regions.
  3. Power grids could be damaged.
  4. Intense auroras could occur over much of the Earth.
  5. Forest fires could take place over much of the planet.
  6. Orbits of the satellites could be disturbed.
  7. Shortwave radio communication of the aircraft flying over polar regions could be interrupted.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2, 4 and 5 only

(b) 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 only

(c) 1,3, 4, 6 and 7 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

Explanation

The correct answer is (c) 1, 3, 4, 6, and 7 only. Here’s an explanation for each option:

  1. GPS and navigation systems could fail: Solar storms can cause disruptions to GPS satellites and affect navigation systems. Mild solar storms can cause more serious problems to GPS satellites than once-in-a-century events.
  2. Tsunamis could occur at equatorial regions: Solar storms cannot directly cause tsunamis on Earth. However, some researchers argue that solar storms may indirectly lead to tsunamis on Earth.
  3. Power grids could be damaged: Solar storms can damage power grids, causing widespread blackouts. For example, the 1989 Quebec blackout was caused by a solar storm.
  4. Intense auroras could occur over much of the Earth: Solar storms can lead to auroras closer to the equator than is possible during calm conditions.
  5. Forest fires could take place over much of the planet: There is no direct evidence linking solar storms to widespread forest fires.
  6. Orbits of the satellites could be disturbed: Solar storms can damage satellites in orbit around Earth by inducing currents that can burn out their circuit boards.
  7. Shortwave radio communication of the aircraft flying over polar regions could be interrupted: Solar storms can disrupt high-frequency communication systems such as ground-to-air, shortwave, and ship-to-shore radio.

Learn more

  • Solar storms are caused by solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the Sun.
  • Geomagnetic storms occur when the solar flares and CMEs interact with Earth’s electromagnetic field.
  • Solar storms are divided into 5 classes (G-1 to G-5) based on their impact, with G-5 being the most severe.
  • Solar storms can cause beautiful phenomena known as auroras or Northern Lights.
  • The Carrington Event of 1859 was a massive geomagnetic storm caused by a solar flare and CME.
  • Solar storms can also disrupt internet service providers and telecommunication networks on Earth.

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