Powerful eruptions in the sun can trigger earthquakes

Strong earthquakes around the world are distributed unevenly, there is some correlation between them.

Scientists have tested the hypothesis that solar activity can affect the occurrence of earthquakes around the world. "

The sun constantly bombards the solar systema huge amount of energy and particles in the form of the solar wind. Sometimes eruptions on the surface of a star cause outbursts of coronal mass or especially energy fluxes of particles - including ions and electrons - that reach the Earth at breakneck speed. Already next to the planet, charged particles can interfere with satellites and, in extreme conditions, turn off electrical networks. A new study suggests that particles from such powerful eruptions, in particular, positively charged ions, may be responsible for triggering groups of strong earthquakes.

Earlier, scientists also noticed a patternsome major earthquakes on the planet: they usually occur in groups. This suggests that there may be a global phenomenon that causes these global earthquakes. And, although many researchers conducted statistical studies to try to determine the cause earlier, not a single convincing theory has yet been rigorously proven.

Researchers at the latest study studied20-year data on earthquakes and solar activity in search of any possible correlations. In particular, the team used data from the NASA-ESA satellite for the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), collecting measurements of protons (positively charged particles) that come from the Sun and wash our planet.

SOHO, which is 900,000 miles (1.45million kilometers) from the Earth, facing the Sun. This helps scientists track how much solar material ultimately hits the earth. Comparing reports of strong earthquakes with SOHO data, scientists noticed that the stronger ones occurred when the number and velocity of incoming solar protons increased. For example, when the protons emanating from the Sun reached a peak, an earthquake surge with a magnitude higher than 5.6 occurred over the next 24 hours.

Having noticed a correlation between the flux of solar protons and strong earthquakes, the researchers proposed a possible explanation: a mechanism called the inverse piezoelectric effect.

Previous experiments have clearly shown that compressionquartz - a rock found in the earth's crust - can generate an electrical impulse through a process known as the piezoelectric effect. Researchers believe that such small pulses can destabilize faults that are already close to breaking, causing earthquakes.

When the positively charged protons of the suncrashed into the protective magnetic "bubble" of the Earth, they create electromagnetic currents that propagate throughout the globe. The pulses created by these currents can then deform quartz in the earth's crust, ultimately causing earthquakes.

More research is needed beforethan scientists will prove whether the sun can cause earthquakes. But this work can help to better predict them and prepare for them, which may help save lives.

Read also

Comet NEOWISE is visible in Russia. Where to see her, where to look and how to take a photo

New thin solar panels can be attached to any surface

Australia will start paying for the use of electric vehicles