ALERT! Dangerous solar storm headed towards Earth; Will it trigger a blackout?

Horrific material flowing from a double hole on the Sun will cause a major solar storm event on October 1, 2022. Can it trigger a radio blackout on Earth?

| Updated on: Sep 29 2022, 11:33 IST
NASA: From Solar Winds, Solar Flares to CME, check how solar phenomena impact Earth
Solar storm
1/5 The harrowing thing is that it will not just be China that would be affected by such a devastating solar storm. (NASA)
Solar Flare
2/5 Solar Flares: Solar flares are photon flares emitted from the Sun which travel from the flare site. They are rated on the basis of their intensity with the highest being an X-rated solar flare. It can cause power and radio blackouts and are responsible for the stunning phenomenon known to us as the Northern Lights or Auroras. (NASA/SDO)
3/5 Coronal Mass Ejections (CME): CMEs are massive plasma clouds carrying photons that are ejected from the Sun. CME occurs during the solar cycle and is at peak in the middle of the cycle. (NASA)
Coronal Mass Ejection or CME
4/5 Solar Winds: Solar winds are high speed winds coming from holes in the Sun called Coronal holes. These holes can form anywhere on the surface of the Sun. If these solar winds prevail near the solar equator, they can cause impact on Earth, according to NASA. (Pixabay)
Solar Particles
5/5 Solar Energetic Particles: Solar energetic particles are emitted from the Sun during Coronal Mass Ejections. These are charged particles; hence they follow the magnetic field lines between the Sun and the Earth and if they pass the magnetic fields near Earth, they have an impact. (NASA)
Solar Storm
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A dangerous solar storm is moving towards the Earth. It is expected to hit on October 1, 2022. (Pixabay)

After almost a week of peace, the Sun has blasted a powerful burst of solar material towards the Earth. These horrific gaseous materials have escaped from a double equatorial hole on the Sun's surface and are directly headed towards the Earth. According to NOAA projections, a solar storm can hit the Earth on October 1 and it might be more powerful than the ones that we have seen recently. The NOAA space weather forecast system uses the technology aboard the DSCOVR satellite which observes the Sun and other regional activity in space that may have an adverse impact on the Earth. The fanciest tech aboard the satellite is the infrared spectroscope that not only takes visual images of the events but also measures magnetic charge, velocity, intensity and radiation levels of such solar particles. So, will this incoming solar storm prove deadly for us? Read on to find out.

The development was reported by which noted on its website, “A solar wind stream is approaching Earth, and it could spark a G2-class (previously G1) geomagnetic storm when it arrives on Oct. 1st. The gaseous material is flowing from a double equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras on those dates”.

While this is a developing situation, there are concerns whether this will cause shortwave radio blackouts and disrupt GPS systems and HAM radio operations which a G2-class solar storm is capable of. Earlier this month, a weaker solar storm caused radio blackouts in regions of Africa and the Middle East.

Dangerous solar storm to strike the Earth on October 1

A solar storm of G2-class intensity is considered moderate but there are external factors that can make it more dangerous. For example, fast-moving solar winds that move between the Sun and the Earth can trap and accelerate the gaseous material and give it speed and higher charge. Further a CIR (co-rotating interaction region) creation on the magnetosphere of Earth can let the solar particles move in freely inside the atmosphere. These effects cannot be predicted so early. But if any of these conditions were to mix with this solar storm, it could disrupt internet connectivity, mobile networks and navigation systems. Power grid failure, while unlikely, is not impossible under these circumstances either.

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First Published Date: 29 Sep, 11:32 IST