Study: Solar flare caused a 'crack' in protective field around Earth

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

A news release by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in India reports that the two-hour event was spotted by the GRAPES-3 muon telescope on June 22, 2015.

The release goes on to state that "The burst occurred when a giant cloud of plasma ejected from the solar corona, and ... struck our planet, causing a severe compression of Earth's magnetosphere from 11 to 4 times the radius of Earth."

This area is considered to be a shield from strong radiation.

See more on Earth's galaxy:

6 PHOTOS
Gorgeous new Milky Way image maps our galaxy's dust
See Gallery
Gorgeous new Milky Way image maps our galaxy's dust

A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero.

(Photo via ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck)

The southern plane of the Milky Way from the ATLASGAL survey.

(Photo via ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck)

The southern plane of the Milky Way from the ATLASGAL survey (annotated).

(Photo via ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck)

Comparison of the central part of the Milky Way at different wavelengths.

(Photo via ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck)

Comparison of the central part of the Milky Way at different wavelengths (annotated).

(Photo via ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck)

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

A geomagnetic storm is believed to have resulted from the activity, as The Wire reports, which "allowed an unusually high flux of cosmic ray particles to arrive on Earth."

According to the institute, consequent simulations indicated that "the Earth's magnetic shield temporarily cracked due to the occurrence of magnetic reconnection, allowing the lower energy galactic cosmic ray particles to enter our atmosphere."

While such damage can't necessarily be avoided in the future, the team believes the research could help to enable "a better understanding of future superstorms."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners