Particle Storms

A particle storm is a caused by solar energetic particles (SEPs).

On 14 July 2000, the sun erupted producing an X-class solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME). These events also produced a huge blast of ultra-relativistic particles, a particle storm. Such particle storms cause snow on the images as the cameras' electronic detectors are bombarded with high-energy particles.

On 14 July 2000, the sun erupted producing an X-class solar flare and a coronal mass ejection (CME). These events also produced a huge blast of ultra-relativistic particles, a particle storm.
Such particle storms cause snow on the images as the cameras’ electronic detectors are bombarded with high-energy particles.

SEPs created by solar flares and CMEs are very energetic bursts of particles that pose a major threat to the electronics and power systems of satellites. The Earth’s atmosphere is normally a very good shield against energetic particles but during the strongest of these events particles can disrupt electronics in airplanes and even electronics on the ground. These particles can pose a significant health risk to airline crew and passengers. Particle storms can create the same atmospheric absorption effects as solar flares causing HF blackouts near the poles.