What's the Latest Development?
Unless you live at northern latitudes and have seen strong auroras in the night sky, you probably won't be affected by the solar storm that has currently engulfed the Earth in radiation. Even though the sun has fired the most radioactive plasma at us since 2003, the planet's electrical systems will likely remain unscathed thanks to the current state of our magnetosphere. Forecasters are predicting a moderate and fairly typical geomagnetic storm, measuring two or three on a scale of five.
What's the Big Idea?
The Earth, in a sense, lucked out. The degree to which the planet is affected by radiation from space is always one part radiation, one part protective magnetosphere. If the clouds of magnetized particles are conveniently arranged, as they are now, the atmosphere will be protected. The Earth experiences a level-three geomagnetic storm about 200 times every 11 years, the length of the Sun's storm cycle. The current cycle is scheduled to reach its peak in 2013 so there will likely be more storms which could disrupt our terrestrial life.
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