Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Largest Geomagnetic Disturbances during Solar Cycle 24

Yesterday 28 solar storm warnings were reported from satellites watching the sun - a very rare event in just one day (HERE). The most powerful solar storm of the current solar cycle is currently reverberating around the globe. Initially triggered by the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME) hitting our planet’s magnetosphere, a relatively mild geomagnetic storm erupted at around 04:30 UT, but it has since ramped-up to an impressive G4-class geomagnetic storm, priming high latitudes for some bright auroral displays. Further significant flare activity from Region 2297 is to be expected until it rotates off the visible disk on March 19th. This already caused the largest geomagnetic disturbances during the current solar cycle. 

Playing the Field: Geomagnetic Storms and the Stock Market, a 2003 study of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, notes the following: Unusually high levels of geomagnetic activity have a negative, statistically and economically significant effect on the following week’s stock returns for all US stock market indices.  

When a solar flare or CME happens, it can take up to 2 days to impact the earth. Therefore, two days after a large solar flare we should see a drop in the stock market values for that day. More on the impact of such events on the financial markets and trading see also HERE.