Dangerous solar storm smashes into Earth with solar winds clocked at terrifying 700km a sec

    Earth was struck by a powerful solar storm event yesterday with solar winds travelling as fast as 700 km per second and even worse is expected.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 30 2022, 12:16 IST
    Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
    1/5 The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and is a 4.5 billion-year-old star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth, and without its energy, life as we know it could not exist here on our home planet. (Pixabay)
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    2/5 The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it. The hottest part of the Sun is its core, where temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). The Sun’s activity, from its powerful eruptions to the steady stream of charged particles it sends out, influences the nature of space throughout the solar system. (NASA)
    3/5 According to NASA, measuring a “day” on the Sun is complicated because of the way it rotates. It doesn't spin as a single, solid ball. This is because the Sun’s surface isn't solid like Earth's. Instead, the Sun is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma. This plasma rotates at different speeds on different parts of the Sun. At its equator, the Sun completes one rotation in 25 Earth days. At its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days. (NASA)
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    4/5 Above the Sun’s surface are its thin chromosphere and the huge corona (crown). This is where we see features such as solar prominences, flares, and coronal mass ejections. The latter two are giant explosions of energy and particles that can reach Earth. (Pixabay)
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    5/5 The Sun doesn’t have moons, but eight planets orbit it, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and perhaps three trillion comets and icy bodies. Also, several spacecraft are currently investigating the Sun including Parker Solar Probe, STEREO, Solar Orbiter, SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Hinode, IRIS, and Wind. (Pixabay)
    Solar storm
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    Know all about the solar storm that hit the Earth yesterday, November 29. (Pixabay)

    The previous week Earth was blasted by multiple solar storm strikes and it appears that the ongoing week is not going to be any different. The Sun has spit out a wave of terrifyingly fast moving solar winds towards Earth yesterday, November 29 and it sparked a solar storm. The solar storm disrupted GPS activity as well as radiowave propagation affecting HAM radio operations. Even worse solar storms are expected to follow in the week. This increased solar activity is due to the Sun approaching the peak of its current solar cycle, which is due sometime during the first half of 2023. Know how dangerous this solar storm was and how bad it can actually get. Read on.

    The solar disturbance was reported by SpaceWeather.com which stated, “Earth has entered a fast moving stream of solar wind, blowing almost 700 km/s. This is causing minor G1-class solar storms and auroras around the Arctic Circle on Nov. 29th”. It was this week's first solar storm and while it was not very powerful, more and stronger solar storms can hit us later this week.

    Solar storm strikes the Earth

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, there is a large area on the Earth-facing side of the Sun which is darkened. These areas are generally cooler than their surroundings and contain very high and often uncontrollable magnetic activity within it. If this darker spot hurls coronal mass ejections (CME) towards the Earth, it could cause really powerful solar storms.

    The strongest solar storms (which can be as high as G5-class) can damage satellites, impact mobile networks and internet connectivity as well as cause power grid failure. Although humans will not be directly impacted by the radiation, due to disruptions to emergency services and power outages at places of high importance, it can still cause a high number of deaths.

    How NOAA keeps an eye on the Sun

    NOAA monitors the solar storms and Sun's behavior using its DSCOVR satellite which became operational in 2016. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared. The different measurements are done on temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation and frequency of the solar particles.

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    First Published Date: 30 Nov, 12:03 IST
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