The Impact of Solar Flares

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With fair frequency, the Sun's surface erupts with solar flares, which send intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation into space. If directed at Earth, this radiation heats the atmosphere, expanding gases into higher altitudes, which increases drag on low Earth orbiting satellites. This radiation also generates more charged particles in the ionosphere, affecting the reflection and transmission paths of radio frequencies used by satellites and ground-based communications. Since the space-based global positioning system uses radio frequency signals, navigation errors are also introduced.

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