Unusual solar wind interaction with magnetosphere - magnetic reversal can be viewed "Like terrestrial weather, space weather is characterized by an average state of relative calm punctuated by bursts of activity. These solar storms vary in strength and frequency with the 11-year solar-activity cycle and cause disruptions of various magnitudes on Earth. During calm periods, the only manifestation of solar weather may be the auroras (Northern or Southern Lights), caused by the excitation of atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen by the solar winds energetic electrons. Flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are two types of solar eruptions that can spew vast quantities of radiation and charged particles into space, potentially causing geomagnetic storms. If a large flux of charged particles from the sun intersects the Earth, it can have serious consequences for modern support systems, including electrical power grids, communications networks, and satellite operations." www.aip.org

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