Scientists and researchers have warned of a possible solar storm that could hit Earth today.
A huge explosion has erupted on the sun’s surface, creating a “new and active” region that has hurled a solar storm toward Earth. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters have predicted a low probability of a minor G1 class geomagnetic storm today, August 3. Although the intensity of the storm appears to be weak, it can cause power outages, disrupt satellite signals, and affect the migration of birds as their direction depends on the Earth’s magnetic field.
The sun is in its 11-year active solar cycle and as a result solar storms have become more intense and extreme. The sun has been pretty volatile lately, and that’s why NASA recently warned people about huge solar flares, which are becoming more frequent from now on. Here’s everything you need to know about solar storms, from frequency to impact.
What is a solar storm?
A solar storm occurs due to a massive explosion of plasma and other materials on the sun, affecting the entire solar system including Earth. The solar storms are usually monitored with X-rays and optical lights.
How common are the solar storms?
According to NASA, the Sun goes through cycles of high to low activity on an 11-year cycle, and the cycle’s peak active time could lead to multiple solar storms that can affect Earth.
As noted by NASA, the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle will peak by 2025.
How long does a solar storm last?
According to NASA, a solar storm can last from a few minutes to several hours, but its effect on Earth can last for days or sometimes weeks, depending on its intensity.
How can solar storms affect the earth?
The effects of a solar storm depend on its intensity. The more intense it is, the more its effects will range from disruption to electronic communications on Earth to satellite blackouts.