Space Weather Creates Electrical ‘Bermuda Triangles’
It doesn’t make compasses needles spin wildly or have anything to do with the lost city of Atlantis, but scientists have discovered a truly unearthly force they suspect is messing with electrical grids near the equator.
It’s called the equatorial electrojet: a seemingly innocuous current of electrons and ions 60 miles (100 km) above the ground, in Earth’s ionosphere.
New research shows that when even a mild shock wave in the solar wind hits the Earth, it can suddenly amp up the equatorial electrojet and create localized magnetic storms – smaller versions of the large geomagnetic storms that have knocked out power grids and charged up and damaged long pipelines under the aurora-lit skies of higher latitudes.
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