High-speed solar winds should trigger a G1 solar storm;
The phenomenon can cause power grid fluctuations and minor interruptions in satellite operations;
more extreme geomagnetic storms can bring satellites down to Earth.
Experts warn of solar storms that could hit Earth this Wednesday (3). Expelled from a filament in the sun’s atmosphere, high-speed solar winds are expected to trigger a G1 geomagnetic storm when they hit our planet’s magnetic field.
According to spaceweather.commeteorologists from the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made the prediction by observing that “gaseous material is flowing from a southern hole in the solar atmosphere.”
Fortunately, the G-1 scale is the weakest form of a geomagnetic storm. According to NASA, the phenomenon, at this intensity, can cause electrical grid fluctuations and minor interruptions in satellite operations.
By way of comparison, more extreme geomagnetic storms can disrupt our planet’s magnetic field powerfully enough to knock satellites to Earth. LiveScience. Experts say that events of this type can even damage the functioning of the internet.
Solar filaments are gigantic strands of electrified gas or plasma that float around the Sun’s atmosphere, influenced by its powerful magnetic field. These unstable strands often appear above sunspots, which are magnetically disturbed regions on the Sun’s surface.
What is a solar flare?
Solar flares are bursts of radiation from the Sun that sometimes hit Earth or shoot out into deep space.
According to NASA: “A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots.”
Solar flares can last as little as a few minutes or spew out streams of radiation for hours.
Why do solar flares keep hitting Earth?
The frequency of times solar flares hit Earth depends on how the Sun is behaving. Hits can range from one solar flare per week to several per day.
The Sun is at the beginning of its 11-year cycle and in a very active phase. This means that we are currently seeing more frequent solar flares. Every 11 years, the Sun’s magnetic field changes.
The cycle marks the change in the sun’s magnetic field. As a result, the north and south poles shift and this can cause the Sun to behave erratically before settling. Once it stabilizes, the magnetic field reverses and the cycle begins again.