The solar storm of 2012
Solar storm of 2012
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The eruption tore through Earth's orbit, hitting the STEREO-A spacecraft. The spacecraft is a solar observatory equipped to measure such activity, and because it was far away from the Earth and thus not exposed to the strong electrical currents that can be induced when a CME hits the Earth's magnetosphere, it survived the encounter and provided researchers with valuable data.
Based on the collected data, the eruption consisted of two separate ejections which were able to reach exceptionally high strength as the interplanetary medium around the Sun had been cleared by a smaller CME four days earlier. Had the CME hit the Earth, it is likely that it would have inflicted serious damage to electronic systems on a global scale. A 2013 study estimated that the cost could have reached $2.6 trillion. Ying D. Liu, professor at China’s State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, estimated that the recovery time from such a disaster would have been about four to ten years.
The event occurred at a time of high sunspot activity during Solar cycle 24.
- Sanders, Robert (18 March 2014). "Fierce solar magnetic storm barely missed Earth in 2012". UC Berkeley News Center. Retrieved 10 January 2015.