Alert! Fierce solar storm on Diwali coming to Earth; Know the danger

A powerful solar storm can strike the Earth on Diwali, October 24 as fast moving solar winds are expected to strike.

| Updated on: Oct 21 2022, 14:21 IST
NASA: From Solar Winds, Solar Flares to CME, check how solar phenomena impact Earth
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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 Storm
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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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A big solar storm is heading for the Earth on Diwali, October 24. It is caused by fast-moving solar winds. (Pixabay)

As India prepares for the festival of Diwali and various other regional festivals, the threat of an incoming solar storm is casting a long shadow over Earth. Solar storms have caused a great deal of grief for people this year as the Sun is nearing the peak of its solar cycle. Multiple radio blackouts have been witnessed all over the world, and in February, around 40 starlink satellites were destroyed by such solar disturbances. But now, according to reports, solar storms are likely on the festival of Diwali and it can be a big concern. Read on to know how this might affect us.

The development was reported by which noted, “Minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on Oct. 24th when a fast moving stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. The gaseous material is flowing from a southern hole in the sun's atmosphere”. The official word first came from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a US organization that monitors space weather.

Solar storm to strike the Earth on Diwali

These solar storm attacks will be generated by fast moving solar winds. Solar winds are the outward expansion of plasma (a collection of charged particles) from the Sun's corona (outermost atmosphere). The plasma is heated to such a degree that even the Sun's gravity cannot hold it down. As a result, it gets ejected into space at a high speed. The plasma contains high magnetic charge, which is what causes solar storms once it strikes the magnetosphere of Earth.

The most common result of a solar storm is an aurora display. People living in the higher latitudes will be able to see a colorful night sky during the solar storm. However, there are worse things it can do. For instance, radio wave outages and GPS disruptions can cause flight delays and affect Ham radio operations.

It should be remembered that solar storms contain extremely high magnetic charge that can affect any electronic device that runs on computers. A few years ago, a woman's pacemaker stopped working on a flight when a solar storm struck and corrupted the chip within the pacemaker. Such horrific stories remind how serious solar storms can really be.

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First Published Date: 21 Oct, 14:01 IST