Menacing solar storm likely to strike Earth today as CME clouds approach

NOAA forecasters have revealed that a dangerous solar storm is possible today, April 5, as a CME cloud is expected to deliver glancing blows to the Earth. Check what is about to happen.

| Updated on: Apr 05 2023, 10:35 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Aurora, Green flash sunset, Nebula and more
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1/5 Geomagnetic storm sparks auroras (March 27) - Millions of people in the US witnessed the magnificent Northern Lights triggered by a strong geomagnetic storm, which served as the catalyst. Even NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for March 27 is dedicated to a mesmerizing view of an Aurora over the Arctic. (NASA/Cari Letelier)
Green flash sunset
2/5 Rare Green Flash Sunset (March 28) - It is a fascinating snapshot of a multiple green flash sunset captured from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile last April. As the Sun sets on the horizon and disappears from view during sunset, sometimes a green flash may appear. (NASA/T. Slovinský/P. Horálek/CTIO)
Dolphin nebula
3/5 Dolphin-Head Nebula (March 29) - It is the Dolphin-Head nebula, located about 5000 light-years away from Earth towards the constellation of Canis Major, also known as the Big Dog. This weirdly fascinating nebula is about 70000 years old and spans almost 60 light-years across, as per NASA. The Dolphin-Head nebula has been catalogued as Sh2-308. (NASA/Aleix Roig (AstroCatInfo))
 Globular Star Cluster NGC 6355
4/5 Globular star cluster and Dark Doodad Nebula (March 30) - It is the Dark Doodad Nebula which lies beside the globular star cluster NGC 4372. Also known as Caldwell 108, the globular star cluster is located about 19000 light-years away in the constellation Musca. It was discovered in 1826 by the Scottish astronomer James Dunlop from his observation post in Australia. (NASA/ESA/Hubble Telescope)
5/5 Saturn's Moon Titan (March 31) - It is a snapshot showing 6 faces of Titan. Titan has a radius of about 2575 kilometers and is nearly 50 percent wider than Earth's moon. Saturn's icy moon is about 1.2 million kilometers away from Saturn, which itself is about 1.4 billion kilometers from the Sun. (NASA/ESA/VIMS Team)
Solar flare
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Know all about the solar storm which is gearing up to hit the Earth. (SDO/NASA)

Yesterday, it was reported that a ring-shaped sunspot group grew 10-folds in just a period of 24 hours and was posing a threat of solar flare eruption for the Earth. But that is a problem for the future. The immediate concern is a giant cloud of coronal mass ejection (CME) which is fast approaching our planet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed that there is a possibility that it can deliver glancing blows to the Earth and cause a solar storm event today, April 5. Know its possible consequences.

The development was reported by which noted in its website, “NOAA forecasters say that a CME might pass close to Earth today. It is debris from a magnetic filament that erupted from the sun on March 30th. A glancing blow could spark minor geomagnetic storms and Arctic auroras”.

CME clouds to bring solar storm to Earth

This CME was released from the Sun on March 30, when a massive magnetic filament was seen by NASA telescopes. As CME moves slower than solar winds, it took the solar particles almost a week to reach the Earth. Luckily, the current forecast suggests that we will only get glancing blows from the cloud. This means that the resultant geomagnetic storm will not be a major one and will be restricted to G1-class or a G2-class storm.

However, there is more bad news brewing for the days to come. Another new sunspot, named AR3270, has been detected by the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory. The sunspot has two primary dark cores, both larger than the Earth. The sunspot is carrying an unstable delta-class magnetic field and can explode in the days to come. Our planet can face radio blackouts and GPS disruptions, as well as another bout of geomagnetic storm.

The marvelous tech of the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) carries a full suite of instruments to observe the Sun and has been doing so since 2010. It uses three very crucial instruments to collect data from various solar activities. They include Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) which takes high-resolution measurements of the longitudinal and vector magnetic field over the entire visible solar disk, Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) which measures the Sun's extreme ultraviolet irradiance and Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) which provides continuous full-disk observations of the solar chromosphere and corona in seven extreme ultraviolet (EUV) channels.

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First Published Date: 05 Apr, 10:08 IST