Geomagnetic Storm alert! STRONG G3-class storm may hit Earth tomorrow | Tech News

Geomagnetic Storm alert! STRONG G3-class storm may hit Earth tomorrow

A stream of CMEs may trigger a strong geomagnetic storm on Earth tomorrow, NOAA forecasters suggested. What impact will it have on Earth? Read on.

| Updated on: Apr 23 2023, 18:21 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
Geomagnetic Storm
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)
Geomagnetic Storm
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)
Geomagnetic Storm
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Earth is facing the prospect of a moderate to strong level geomagnetic storm on April 24. (Unsplash)

Earth-directed explosion on the Sun left the planet in the strike zone! A massive magnetic filament that was slithering across the southern hemisphere of the sun erupted on April 21st, hurling a cluster of particles toward Earth's direction, reported. It also shared a clip from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory that shows soon after the eruption on the surface of the Sun, the US Air Force reported strong Type II and Type IV solar radio bursts. These are natural shortwave emissions produced by shock waves preceding the CME as it passes through the Sun's atmosphere.

Solar outbursts shoot coronal mass ejections (CMEs), that ultimately generate geomagnetic storms on Earth. The worrying part is that these CMEs are heading straight for Earth. "The CME should reach Earth during the early hours of April 24th between the hours of 00:00 and 12:00 UT," models from NASA and from NOAA suggested. This can lead to G1- (Minor) to G2-class (Moderate) geomagnetic storms, NOAA forecasters suggested. Not just that, NOAA says it may even turn into a G3-class Geomagnetic storm.

The same has been confirmed via Space weather expert Dr. Tamitha Skov, who tweeted, "Direct Hit: NOAA predictions show the coming #solarstorm will hit Earth early April 24. Easily a G2-level storm at mid-latitudes, aurora chances are high. The storm must still have the right magnetic orientation for sustained shows. Expect HF radio & GPS issues on the nightside."

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Impact of Geomagnetic Storm on Earth

Geomagnetic storms can cause temporary disturbances in the planet's magnetic field, releasing a surge of highly energetic magnetic energy. This energy can ionize oxygen in the upper atmosphere, producing the characteristic blue-green hues of auroras. The report also mentioned, "During such storms, auroras have been sighted in the USA as far south as, e.g., Illinois and Oregon."

Moreover, these storms have the potential to cause significant disruptions in GPS, radio communications, mobile phone connectivity, and satellite operations. Additionally, they can generate hazardous geomagnetic-induced currents in power grids, which may lead to power supply disturbances.

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First Published Date: 23 Apr, 18:09 IST