The GRAPES-3 moon telescope located at the Cosmic Ray Laboratory recorded a burst of galactic cosmic rays of about 20 GeV, on 22 June 2015, lasting for 2 hours.
The blast happened when a giant cloud of plasma ejected out of the solar corona at a speed of about 2.5 million kilometers per hour hitting our planet, causing a serious impact of Earth’s magnetosphere from 4 to 11 times the radius of Earth. It triggered a severe geomagnetic storm that generated aurora borealis and radio signal blackouts in several high latitude countries.
Earth’s magnetosphere extends over a radius of several millions of kilometers, which acts as the initial line of defence, shielding us from the continuous flow of galactic and solar cosmic rays, thereby protecting life from these high strength dynamic radiations. Earth’s magnetic field turns these particles about 180 degree, in the day-side to the night side of the Earth where it was discovered as a blast from the GRAPES-3 muon telescope around mid-night on 22 June 2015. The data was examined and interpreted through extensive model over several weeks through the use of the 1280-center computing farm that was constructed in house by the GRAPES-3 team of engineers and physicists at the Cosmic Ray Laboratory in Ooty.
Solar storms may cause significant disruption to human civilization by crippling large electrical power grids, global positioning systems (GPS), satellite operations and communications.
The GRAPES-3 muon telescope, the most sensitive and largest cosmic ray screen managing the world is playing an incredibly significant part in the analysis of such occasions. This recent finding has generated widespread delight in the international scientific community.