Solar Storm Will Disrupt GPS, but What About Cell Phones?

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The Earth was hit with a massive solar storm early this morning, but what does that mean for cell phone and other wireless tech devices?

Solar WeatherThe Sun emitted solar flares on Tuesday that reached the Earth earlier today. These flares will not reach the ground but may affect the higher atmosphere, affecting satellites receivers that send and receive signals to GPS devices and radios. If GPS devices and radios are possibly affected, what about cell phone service?

There is a possibility that cell phone users in northern or southern regions, closer to the poles, may experience some sort of disruption, but it’s looking unlikely. However, the changes in the upper atmosphere can make GPS receivers deal with a communications black out. Overall, it’s far too difficult to determine ahead of time how much the solar flares will impact all satellite coverage on Earth. The amount the solar storm affects Earth all depends on the exact timing and speed of the flares.

The solar activity isn’t looking like a serious issue for most people, but power grids may have hiccups alongside satellites. In a famous example, an enormous solar storm knocked down a power grid in Quebec in 1989.

Don’t fret if you see a drop in your carrier’s network today. It may just be a quick disruption that will be back soon. The next set of solar flares is expected to hit the Earth in 2013.

Source: CNET



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