This week has been filled with solar storms as coronal mass ejections (CME) and solar winds coming from the Sun have been striking the Earth repeatedly. But these storms have not caused much damage as they were relatively minor and remained in the G1 class. However, reports have confirmed that the Earth will be struck with a full-halo CME, which is an indication of a large amount of solar particles flying towards the Earth. The CME is expected to strike the Earth tomorrow, July 23, and the resultant solar storm will follow afterwards. Due to the size of CME, the solar storm can even go as high as G3 class, with radio blackouts and GPS disruptions expected to affect the dayside of the Earth. Read on to know the damage it is likely to cause.
It was first reported by SpaceWeather.com which noted, “Solar storms are possible on July 23rd when a full-halo CME is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. The storm cloud was hurled toward Earth by a solar tsunami eruption, described below. NOAA forecasters say that G1- to G2-class (minor to moderate) storms are likely with a slight chance of escalating to category G3 (strong)”.
The full halo CME was caused by what is being called a solar tsunami — a massive eruption on the surface of the Sun which released waves of magnetic flux and solar particles directed towards the Earth. It should be noted that the Earth has not seen a G3 class solar storm since March, when two different CME came together to form a powerful storm whose effects were seen till the mid-latitudes.
A solar physicist who goes by the Twitter username of Halo CME posted images of the eruption along with a caption that read, “This was from the eruption/type II radio burst this morning from AR 13060. It is so diffuse that we need difference images (right) to see it. This could be just a shock wave without a flux rope”.
A G3-class solar storm can cause minor damage to satellites in the higher orbits of the Earth, disrupt shortwave radio blackouts and GPS systems and even cause brief fluctuations in sensitive wireless instruments. The solar storm is not strong enough to impact mobile networks, internet services and power grids. Aurora enthusiasts can also see a bright display of lights tomorrow in the sky in even mid-latitudes.
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