NASA warned today that our planet could be hit by a solar storm. Check out the latest reports about the matter below.
NASA drops news about solar storm
In the past week, the sun has been displaying increased activity, with a surge in sunspots and the launch of several coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on a daily basis.
According to Newsweek, Earth is currently experiencing solar storms, and there is a possibility of another one approaching today. NASA has warned that one of these CMEs may be on a collision course with our planet.
When a CME impacts the Earth, it can cause a geomagnetic storm, which is a disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere by the solar plasma.
Huw Morgan, the head of the Solar Physics group at Aberystwyth University in the UK, has provided insight on the matter.
“When a large plasma storm erupts from the sun, and that storm carries a magnetic field which is oriented in an opposite direction to Earth’s magnetic field, we have a ‘perfect storm,’ and a larger geomagnetic storm.”
Spaceweather.com states that there is a possibility of minor G1-class geomagnetic storms late on November 25th through 26th as two CMEs generated by magnetic filaments erupting from the sun earlier this week might graze Earth’s magnetic field.
”Solar flares and CME are both caused by the sun through its magnetic field being twisted and stressed through motions in the sun,” Daniel Brown, an associate professor in astronomy and science communication at Nottingham Trent University in the UK told Newsweek.
Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are massive eruptions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun’s corona. They can expel billions of tons of coronal material and carry a magnetic field embedded within, which is stronger than the background solar wind interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strength. CMEs travel outward from the Sun at speeds ranging from slower than 250 kilometers per second (km/s) to as fast as near 3000 km/s.
On the other hand, a geomagnetic storm refers to the disruptions caused to the Earth’s magnetic field by solar emissions.
The intensity of solar storms is measured on a scale of G1 to G5. G1 storms are the weakest on the scale and can occur several times each month.
Although the G1 geomagnetic storm is unlikely to cause any damage to life on Earth, it can still affect power grids and impact some satellite functions, such as those used for GPS systems and mobile devices.