A massive coronal hole on the Sun is facing our planet, and the scientists expect a solar storm to head toward Earth this week. The hole was discovered by the US space agency, NASA, satellites yesterday, on September 3rd. According to the researchers behind the NASA’s SDO mission, the geomagnetic storm would hit the Earth on September 7th.
A coronal hole on the Sun is facing the Earth
Usually, when a coronal hole on Sun opens up, it emits solar particles into deep space. This time, however, the hole in our Sun is facing the Earth, so our planet might be hit by a massive amount of highly charged particles.
But, our planet’s magnetosphere would prevent most of the solar particles from reaching down to Earth.
“A hole in the sun’s atmosphere is directly facing Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind toward our planet. This is a ‘coronal hole, a region where the Sun’s magnetic field opens up and allows solar wind to escape. It looks dark in extreme UV images of the sun because the hot glowing plasma normally contained there is missing. In this case, the gaseous material is en route to Earth,” reports Space Weather.
A solar storm is heading toward Earth this week
When a solar wind, mostly made of highly charged solar particles, strikes our planet’s magnetosphere, it causes Nothern or Southern lights. But the consequences could also be severe as a geomagnetic storm could load the electronic components of our satellites to hazardous levels, triggering malfunctions such as GPS navigation issues, poor mobile phone signal, and weak satellite TV signals.
However, the upcoming solar storm is not predicted to be so hazardous, but it could still cause some issues to the satellite network but not as significant as presented above which would be the outcomes of a more powerful geomagnetic storm.