(Submitted December 05, 1996)
Based on media info, I'm trying to find out something about the
"new" solar cycle we are going into. What possible affect would result
from the flaring that is supposed to take place. I'm wondering about
affects and potential MAGNITUDE in areas in Electromagnetism/daily
activities, possible biological affects, and elemental. I realize that
all of these may not be in your field of expertise, but would welcome
any info you could pass on.
Your questions are well beyond the HEASARC area of expertise. I tried
a bit of WWW surfing and didn't find anything very satisfying, however you
should try some as well. The thing to remember is that the solar cycle is
about 11 years so there won't be anything happening that hasn't happened
before. Predictions of the strength of the maximum haven't been terribly
accurate in the past (the last one about 1990 was supposed to be much
stronger than it turned out to be). Strong flares will affect some
communication systems and the astronauts need to be careful, but for most
of us it will be business as usual. Other space-related effects include
increased drag on satellites. As Earth receives more energy from the Sun,
the atmosphere puffs up increasing the density of the residual atmosphere
in the satellite's path. Aurora also become more spectacular.
for Imagine the Universe!
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