eldavojohn writes "Recently, a new discovery has been made explaining how & predicting when space weather occurs. Hopefully this will allow us to predict when and where these extreme forces of magnetic flux occur so that we can prepare to repair satellites or shut them down for safety reasons. Recent activities on the sun have surprised scientists including the explosive "solar tsunami" that happened last week. From the article, "The new study shows that the Northern Lights, also called aurora, and other space weather near Earth are driven by the rate at which the Earth's and Sun's magnetic fields connect, or merge, and not just by the solar wind's electric field. The merging occurs way out in space, at a spot between the Earth and Sun, roughly 40,000 miles above our planet's surface. Researchers have now developed a formula that describes the merging rate of the magnetic field lines and accurately predicts 10 different types of near-Earth space weather activity, such as the aurora and magnetic disturbances.""