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Electromagnetic storm

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Electromagnetic storm

An electromagnetic storm on a moon of Mab-Bu VI

An electromagnetic storm is an intense phenomenon where a region of space experiences a very strong electromagnetic field. This is most analogous to a rainstorm. Normal rain poses no threat, but can be incredibly dangerous in heavy amounts. The same applies to electromagnetic fields. In small amounts, electromagnetic fields will not cause noticeable disruption to electronic systems. However, in large amounts, they can cause charged particles (for example, in wires) to feel a significant force, moving them. Since wires aren't usually free to move, the flow of electrons can become extremely disrupted. This can also be extremely hazardous for delicate systems, such as those found on starships. Transporters and sensors were particularly sensitive to these disruptions. (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion", "Mudd's Women"; VOY: "Tattoo")

Magnetic fields are generally rated in microteslas (μT, 1 T = 1 kg / (C × s) in SI). The Earth's magnetic field is in tens of microteslas, which doesn't cause significant problems to existing systems. Electromagnetic storms are probably rated in the magnitude of milliteslas or whole teslas. With wires, such intense fields can only be felt within extreme proximity to the wire with an incredible amount of current. Such close proximity could allow electrons to "jump" from the wire to whatever was nearby (as they do in spark plugs), and the amount of current would be fatal to Humans.

Electromagnetic storms can be found the atmosphere of a planet (for example, Galorndon Core and Melona IV) or a moon (for example, Mab-Bu VI). (TNG: "The Enemy", "Silicon Avatar", "Power Play")

It is possible, albeit rare, for sentient consciousness to be maintained in the magnetic patterns of electromagnetic storms. In the 19th century, a group of criminals from Ux-Mal, exiled to a moon of Mab-Bu VI, had their consciousnesses separated from their bodies. These consciousnesses lived in the storm for five centuries, surfacing twice to take over the bodies of Federation starships: the USS Essex in 2167, and the USS Enterprise-D in 2368. (TNG: "Power Play")

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