Solar storm hits Earth leaving forecasters baffled – and could last for days
A SOLAR storm has hit Earth over the weekend and caused a temporary disturbance of the planet’s magnetosphere.
A CME occurs when the Sun ejects a cloud of charged particles and electromagnetic fluctuations from its atmosphere.
They are one of the most powerful forms of a solar storm.
“A minor G1-class geomagnetic storm broke out around midnight (UT) on June 25-26,” according to Experts at Spaceweather.com.
“Forecasters aren’t sure why. The prime suspect is an unexpected CME embedded in the solar wind.
“So far no auroras have been reported from the six-hour storm.”
Since the solar storm was classified as G1, it’s minor and will just cause weak power grid fluctuations and minor impacts on satellite communications.
Space weather expert Dr Tamitha Skov said on Twitter on Saturday, “Fast solar wind hits Earth!
“Expect unsettled to stormy conditions for the next 48-72 hrs.
“High latitude #aurora chasers should get good shows with sporadic views at mid-latitudes.
Most read in Tech
“Amateur radio operators watch for minor disruptions & auroral propagation through #FieldDay weekend.”
When CME is aimed at the Earth it boosts the aurora borealis and australis.
These natural light shows are generated when particles from the solar wind excite atoms in Earth’s upper atmosphere, which makes them glow.
The wavy patterns that result often resemble curtains of light usually in colors of green and pink, as you see in the Northern Lights.
Another type of solar storm is solar flares. “A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation, or light, on the Sun,” according to NASA.
“Solar flares are a sudden explosion of energy caused by tangling, crossing or reorganizing of magnetic field lines near sunspots.”
A huge sunspot was discovered last week on June 20.
“Today, it’s enormous. The fast-growing sunspot has doubled in size in only 24 hours,” SpaceWeather.com reported.
“The explosive heat of a solar flare can’t make it all the way to our globe, but electromagnetic radiation and energetic particles certainly can,” NASA explained.
“Solar flares can temporarily alter the upper atmosphere creating disruptions with signal transmission from, say, a GPS satellite to Earth causing it to be off by many yards.”