Solar Wind Threatens to Delay and Reroute Flights
Today, January 24th, 2012, six flights we rerouted in order to mitigate the risk for interference with the navigational instruments onboard the planes. In parts of Canada and Britain residents are experiencing auroras or Northern Lights, due to the effects of the storm. Flights flying over or near the North Pole seem to be at the greatest risk for this particular Solar Storm.
Delta Airlines Officials are quoted telling Fox News that they would be “adjusting the flight pattern of a few… flights… flying further south than we would normally fly.”
A solar storm is the result of tumultuous solar events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These events lead to a “Solar Wind” that, when interacting with our atmosphere can create a light show as a geomagnetic storm takes place.
Electrical systems onboard the aircraft are the major concern for this magnitude of storm, but experts warn that this type of solar activity can cause disruption to the planet’s magnetic fields which could wreak havoc on the living organisms on earth by furthering out exposure to dangerous radiation.
Tomorrow, the 25th, the airlines will reassess the situation and will continue to take action to protect their customers. Historically, solar storms could potentially last for days at a time, so be prepared for longer flights if you’re headed north.
There never really is a better time to travel, even if it isn’t by plane! With the end of 2011 behind us, who knows just how long we will have to go the places we want to go and see the things we want to see! Get out there, fellow travelers!