Major magnetic storm may displace satellites from orbit & hamper GPS navigation – scientists

The largest magnetic storm in two years, which hit Earth on Tuesday, is no joke, Russian scientists warned, saying that increased solar activity threatens electronics and people’s health.

The phenomenon may divert spacecraft from their orbit and create problems for satellite communications and GPS navigation, the Laboratory of X-Ray Astronomy at the Lebedev Institute of the Russian Academy of Science said.

Radio interference and Aurora Borealis in unusual places will be the other side effect of the magnetic storm. The Northern Lights may be seen in the sky, starting from the latitudes of 60 degrees – where Russia’s Saint Petersburg is located – and above.

“During such events, the voltage in electrical systems may require correction. False triggering of safety systems is also possible,” the scientists warned.

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But it’s not only hardware, but people as well, who will be affected. Those, who are aware that they are weather-sensitive, may feel discomfort and should take precautions.

The storm began early on Tuesday and will last during the day, with normalization only expected on Wednesday night, the researcher said.

The current event “is a large one compared to what was happening in recent years.” It was ranked at level three, with the strongest – level five – storm occurring once every 10 or 20 years.

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