Proposed solar storms alarm could give 24hr advanced warning

Solar storms can, at times, present a problem for our planet — you've likely experienced at one point or another GPS troubles and such due to solar storms. In some cases, though, solar storms could pose larger risks to things like power grids. Advanced warning of these larger, potentially dangerous storms gives people a chance to prepare, but present systems only give up to an hour's warning. A new proposed system, however, would increase that warning time to a day or longer.

The new system is detailed in a paper in Space Weather, and with it the alarm system could determine whether an approaching solar storm is one that won't cause harm or one that could wreck potential destruction. Cameras on satellites would be used to achieve this.

The cameras are placed at "very different vantage points" throughout space, and the data they gather can be used to refine an existing estimation about any given solar storm. The system has already been in testing, with data from it predicting things about a total of eight solar storms.

Thus far the predictions from these eight tests are said to be in "significant agreement" with researchers' own predictions about the storms. That is good news, as such a system could mean the difference between potentially destructive storms causing big issues, or adequate preparations before time mitigating the damages.

SOURCE: Discovery