Electronic devices, particularly devices that
transmit or receive radio signals (televisions,
radios, etc.)depend on information brought to them
in the form of electromagnetic radiation, which
normally means light(light of a much lower
frequency than you can see), but it can also
include various other particles that have electric
Solar flares produce a great number of
these particles (electric charges) and spew them
at the Earth, causing
random signals that the receiver has to try to
sort out, the actual message from the garbage that
the sun is putting out. It's exactly like trying
to listen to somebody when a siren is going off
next to your ear- you can't tell the useful
information (the other person's speech) from the
noise (the siren). Solar flares do exactly the
same thing to anything that detects radio light,
like cell phones.
Solar Flares indicate the activity of the solar
wind, which is a fast streaming of charged
particles from the outer atmosphere of the sun.
The solar wind is typically bent around each of
the planet's magnetic fields(in fact the
is the effective boundary of the magnetic
field). So high degrees of activity (dense
winds) affect the depth of the field and generate
substantial radio frequency noise at the
well as bright aurora at the poles. This
interference is what effects cellphones.
secondary effect in long-distance communication
occurs when the ionosphere bears the brunt of the
excess solar wind-- the ionosphere reflects low to
short wave frequencies and these are strongly
affected by solar storms.
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