A SOLAR storm traveling at speeds of up to 1.3 million kilometers per hour is expected to strike the Earth tomorrow, and researchers warn that it may cause problems associated with satellites.
The sun has spewed a “bursting filament of magnetism” into the solar system at a speed of 328 kilometers per second, and it may collide with Earth. The solar storm was triggered by a sunspot, a swirling pool of magnetism beneath the sun’s surface.
Sunspots are dark areas on the surface of the sun that are usually cooler than the surrounding material.
When scientists claim they are “cooler,” the average temperature of a sunspot remains above 3,500 degrees Celsius – although this is a drop from the average solar surface temperature of 5,500 degrees Celsius.
They are generally cooler in temperature due to the fact that sunspots are regions of intense magnetic fields.
Because of the strength of the magnetism, some of the heat is actually prevented from escaping.
However, when the magnetic field becomes stronger, the pressure inside the sunspot increases, which can lead to a solar flare or coronal mass ejection (CME).
According to astronomers, the incoming CME could make contact with Earth tomorrow or May 13.
If this happens, it could cause complications for satellite-based technology.
According to space scientists, it could cause a G1-class geomagnetic storm.
A solar storm of this magnitude has the potential to cause “weak fluctuations in the power grid” and “minor impacts on satellite operations.”
That’s because the Earth’s magnetic shield expands as it is bombarded with particles, making it harder for satellite signals to penetrate.
“A CME is coming,” astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on his space weather website. The solar storm cloud, which was propelled toward Earth May 9 by an erupting filament of magnetism, is expected to arrive May 12 or 13.
“This is not a particularly fast or strong CME, but it could trigger G1-class geomagnetic storms and auroras at high latitudes.”
While this solar storm is relatively harmless, some experts have warned that a major solar storm is a matter of “when,” not “if”
Occasionally, the sun produces a solar flare that shoots radiation into space.
Any of these solar flares can hit Earth, but they are generally harmless to our world.
On the other hand, the Sun can produce solar flares so powerful that they can cripple Earth’s technology.
Previous research has shown that the sun produces an intense solar flare on average every 25 years, with the last one hitting Earth in 1989.
That storm caused power outages in Quebec, Canada, because conductive rocks on Earth can absorb excess energy from the magnetic shield and channel it into the national power grid.
Although it is difficult to predict when or where a massive solar storm will strike, one will undoubtedly hit Earth in the future.
Drayton Tyler, a risk consultancy, explained, “A solar superstorm is an ‘if, not when’ phenomenon.
“In a worst-case scenario, direct and indirect costs are expected to exceed trillions of dollars, with recovery taking years rather than months.
“The probability of an event of this magnitude occurring is estimated by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering to be one in ten in any decade.”