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Indian scientist concerned over effect of solar storm on the earth

By Nairita Das

Kolkata, Aug.10 (ANI): Solar storm, termed as 'Solar Tsunami' by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) can disturb the Earth's magnetic field and can interfere with satellites, Debi Prasad Duari, an astrophysicist and Director (Research and Academics) of Birla Planetarium in Kolkata, said on Monday.

Durari has shared his observations in context of the recent cloudburst and flash floods in Ladakh region and also heavy downpour coupled by gushing floods in China.

On Sunday (August 1) solar scientists and solar physicists found that a big sun spot was flaring in northern hemisphere of the sun and from where a huge amount of gas and other materials was ballooning.

However, soon thereafter, they found little northward to sun spot a gigantic cloud, a gigantic ball of gas made of hot ionised particles they have come out from the surface of sun and making a small filament that got detached from the body of the sun and was directed towards the earth.

According to officials of NASA, the solar particles began striking earth's magnetic field on last Tuesday (August 03) and sparked a powerful 12-hour geomagnetic storm and spectacular aurora displays.

"If they (solar storms) pass through high-tension electric grid of any country, they can cause what is known as a coronal discharge which is basically a short-circuit and the whole region of that that country, the power can go down. It can take 10 to 15 hours for the power to be brought back. Thirdly, since they are passing through the atmosphere of earth and satellite that are sent, some of these charged particles, they have enough energy to penetrate the metal shield of any satellite and disturb or destroy the electronics inside. That can totally disrupt the radio communication," said Debi Prasad Duari, Director, Research and Academics, Birla Planetarium, Kolkata.

"In addition to that this charged particle can create a disturbance in the geo-magnetic field and radio communications and other communications which depend on the ionosphere, that can get totally disrupted," he further added.

He, however, dispelled any connection between the current spates of natural calamities with heightened solar activity.

"Till today, they (scientists) have not found any correlation, any connection between sun storms, between solar winds and natural calamity ... this spate of earthquake, flooding that is happening in quite a number of places in last one week or so, I think or any scientist will say it is not because of the sun becoming active but because of normal geological problems or normal geological phenomenon," noted Debi Prasad Duari.

He has opined that the next heightened activity cycle expected in 2011-12, has started off with this terrible solar tsunami, which had posed a direct threat to the earth. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

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