Menacing solar storm set to get big solar wind boost; may strike Earth today | Tech News

Menacing solar storm set to get big solar wind boost; may strike Earth today

The Earth can be hit by an especially dangerous solar storm attack today, January 24, and that too after solar winds strengthen its power. Know its consequences.

| Updated on: Jan 24 2023, 12:20 IST
NASA: From Solar Winds, Solar Flares to CME, check how solar phenomena impact Earth
Solar flare
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)
Solar flare
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)
Solar flare
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 flare
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 flare
icon View all Images
Know all about the solar storm that can hit the Earth today. (Pixabay)

After a brief period of quiet, Earth is going to be hit by the fifth solar storm of this month today, January 24. According to reports, this particular solar storm will be caused by coronal mass ejections (CME) that were released during last week's solar flare event. However, things are going to get complicated due to nearby fast-moving solar winds which can energize and strengthen the CME particles and cause a more intense solar storm. The concerns are whether this can affect communication and electronic machinery on the Earth or not.

The report comes from popular space weather physicist Tamitha Skov who posted a 5-day space weather snapshot on her Twitter account. She tweeted, “A glancing #solarstorm blow followed by fast wind. Views peak by Jan 24, with high-latitudes getting great views. Mid-latitude shows will be fleeting. Top shows what's expected, percentages at bottom show possible maximums”. It should be noted that the words ‘views' and ‘shows' denote auroral shows which follow a solar storm.

Earth to suffer a solar storm strike

The prediction by Skov also mentioned that there is a 25% chance of a major solar storm taking place today. A major solar storm could be a G2-G3 class solar storm. At the moment, a G5 class solar storm is not expected. However, such a storm can still damage satellites and cause minor fluctuations in the power grids. Further, GPS disruptions and shortwave radio blackouts are also possible. But to know the full intensity and to find out whether the solar storm does hits Earth, or misses, we will have to wait.

Currently, there are as many as ten sunspots facing directly towards the Earth. If a chain-reaction among them occurs, an extreme solar storm event can cause major damage to our planet. The resultant solar storm could be equivalent to the Carrington event of 1859 which is the largest recorded solar storm on Earth. A solar storm like that today could have devastating consequences. Astronomers are watching the new development closely.

Tech behind solar observation

While many space agencies from NASA with its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) keep track of Sun-based weather phenomena, one that particularly stands out is the DSCOVR satellite by NOAA. The satellite became operational in 2016 and tracks different measurements of the Sun and its atmosphere including temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation and frequency of the solar particles. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared.

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 24 Jan, 11:25 IST