Home Technology Menacing solar storm set to get big solar wind boost; may strike Earth today

Menacing solar storm set to get big solar wind boost; may strike Earth today

by TopBusinessView

The Earth can be hit by an especially dangerous solar storm attack today, January 24, and that too after solar winds strengthen its power. Know its consequences.

After a brief period of quiet, Earth is going to be hit by the fifth solar storm of this month today, January 24. According to reports, this particular solar storm will be caused by coronal mass ejections (CME) that were released during last week’s solar flare event. However, things are going to get complicated due to nearby fast-moving solar winds which can energize and strengthen the CME particles and cause a more intense solar storm. The concerns are whether this can affect communication and electronic machinery on the Earth or not.

The report comes from popular space weather physicist Tamitha Skov who posted a 5-day space weather snapshot on her Twitter account. She tweeted, “A glancing #solarstorm blow followed by fast wind. Views peak by Jan 24, with high-latitudes getting great views. Mid-latitude shows will be fleeting. Top shows what’s expected, percentages at bottom show possible maximums”. It should be noted that the words ‘views’ and ‘shows’ denote auroral shows which follow a solar storm.

Earth to suffer a solar storm strike

The prediction by Skov also mentioned that there is a 25% chance of a major solar storm taking place today. A major solar storm could be a G2-G3 class solar storm. At the moment, a G5 class solar storm is not expected. However, such a storm can still damage satellites and cause minor fluctuations in the power grids. Further, GPS disruptions and shortwave radio blackouts are also possible. But to know the full intensity and to find out whether the solar storm does hits Earth, or misses, we will have to wait.

Currently, there are as many as ten sunspots facing directly towards the Earth. If a chain-reaction among them occurs, an extreme solar storm event can cause major damage to our planet. The resultant solar storm could be equivalent to the Carrington event of 1859 which is the largest recorded solar storm on Earth. A solar storm like that today could have devastating consequences. Astronomers are watching the new development closely.

Tech behind solar observation

While many space agencies from NASA with its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) keep track of Sun-based weather phenomena, one that particularly stands out is the DSCOVR satellite by NOAA. The satellite became operational in 2016 and tracks different measurements of the Sun and its atmosphere including temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation and frequency of the solar particles. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared.

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