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Chile Earthquake & Solar Storms

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An 8.8 earthquake hit Chile after a magnetic storm. NASA reported“Sunspot AR2415 is increasingly active on Sept. 17 and appears poised to produce a moderately strong M-class solar flare. Any eruptions today would be geoeffective because the sunspot is facing Earth.” There may be a link between major earthquakes and these geomagnetic storms.

A geomagnetic storm is indeed a very important and serious disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere. They occur when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. We reported that there are some scientists now studying these links. These geomagnetic storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in currents, plasma, and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere. Consequently, the solar wind conditions that are effective for creating geomagnetic storms are sustained for several hours at a time and are periods of very high-speed solar wind. The southward directed solar wind magnetic field, which is opposite the direction of Earth’s field, at the daylight side of the magnetosphere. Therefore, this condition is very effective for the transfer of energy from the solar wind into Earth’s magnetosphere. When the sunspot in question is facing the Earth, it may create stress at specific points causing major quakes.