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Magnetic Storms

Magnetic Storms

Magnetic Storms


Magnetic storm is a momentary commotion of the planet’s magnetosphere. In short, it is a world wide magnetic turmoil. It is usually caused by a solar shock wave that interrelates with the planet’s magnetic field. It happens only on the outer space, however the impact of it can be felt around the globe because of a sudden change in the magnetic field. If you trace a Southward magnetic field that weakens those towards north, then that is a concrete sign of magnetic storm. After several years of study with regard to this matter, experts successfully introduced Dst, which stands for, Disturbance Storm. It is a way of measuring the level of magnetic field of a certain planet. They measure it by using magnetometer that is located in different stations.


Alexander von Humboldt is the one that discovered magnetic storm during his journey on Russian lands. It was around nineteenth century when he made the first observation. It was also the time where the largest magnetic storm occurred. This incident causes abundant and huge sunspots.


Magnetic storm has 3 phases, and these are:

  1. Initial phase, which is also called as SSC or Storm Sudden Commencement – This phase is identified by Dst by a sudden increase between twenty to fifty nT per minute, but not all magnetic storms has this phase nor a sudden increase like this would surely result to a magnetic storm. It is only a usually sign that commonly leads to magnetic disturbance.
  2. Main phase – The duration of this stage usually plays around two to eight hours. It is measured by decreasing Dst from –50 nT or less, because the minimum is between –50 up to –600 nT.
  3. Recovery phase – This stage lasts from a minimum of eight hours and it can last up to seven consecutive days max. This is the stage where the change in Dst would be back to normal or quiet time value, as experts call it.


The equipments that are commonly affected by magnetic storms are radars, navigation systems, radio, cell phones, and any other equipment that is related to communication or uses magnetic field to properly operate. What majority of people does not know is, it also impacts your body and it can be very hazardous to your health. Some known effects are change in blood flow, heart attack, stroke, and blood pressure. This might not be a problem for you if you are physically fit, young, and does not have any kind of problem with blood circulation but it can be dangerous for your loved ones. Lots of reputable medical professionals have proven than a sudden change in the magnetic field can result to increased and unstable pulse and heart beat. That is why regularly checking your place’s magnetic field level is highly recommended.


Several countries including China, Russia, and United States are continuously looking for ways on how to accurately measure and monitor Magnetic storms and if there are ways to prevent the sudden change or if its possible to minimize it effects to reduce the risk of communication and health problems.