Sunspot Effects On Earth

Predictions of solar and geomagnetic activity are important to various technologies including :

  • Low-Earth orbiting satellites (LEOS)
  • Electric power transmission grids
  • High-frequency radio communications and radars.

    The scale height of Earth's upper atmosphere (and thus the drag on satellites in low Earth orbit) is dependent on the intensity of short-wavelength solar radiation and the level of geomagnetic activity. The knowledge of the profile and magnitude of the next solar and geomagnetic cycle is crucial. For example, the SkyLab would still be in orbit today if these effects of the solar maximum were not ignored.