Mysterious plasma waterfall seen on Sun; new CME sparks Solar storm WARNING for Earth

A mysterious plasma waterfall, also known as polar crown prominence, was seen on the Sun. Astronomers now expect another solar storm to strike the Earth tomorrow, March 12.

| Updated on: Mar 11 2023, 12:29 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)
image caption
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)
image caption
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)
image caption
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 flare
View all Images
Know all about the solar storm that can strike the Earth tomorrow. (SDO/NASA)

The magnetic filament seen at the equator on the Sun yesterday has released a coronal mass ejection (CME) cloud towards the Earth. Reports suggest that there is a likelihood that a major solar storm can strike our planet tomorrow, March 12, assisted by fast-moving solar winds. Forecasters believe that if this solar storm strikes the Earth, a big impact will be seen on the low-orbit satellites, which are mostly for weather monitoring. The Starlink satellites by SpaceX also fall in the same territory and it can affect these satellites as well. Additionally, the solar activity on the Sun continues as a 10000 kilometers high plasma waterfall like structure was seen on the Sun. Researchers call it polar crown prominence.

Dr. Tamitha Skov, space weather physicist and popularly known as 'Space Weather Woman', has given this week's solar storm prediction on Twitter. In her tweet, she said, “Learn what is waiting around the corner, including a new #solarstorm launch just today that might graze Earth in a few days”. She also revealed that currently there are eight sunspots active on the Earth-facing side of the Sun. This can lead to further solar storms in the coming days.

Solar storm can strike the Earth tomorrow

In her forecast, Skov explained that tomorrow is the highest likelihood for a solar storm in the next 5 days, with a 30 percent chance for a major solar storm event. It should be noted that a major solar storm event is considered when a G2 or above category solar storm strikes the Earth. Reportedly, this incoming solar storm could be linked with the magnetic filament that was spotted yesterday near the equator of the Sun.

Polar crown prominence
The plasma waterfall, otherwise known as polar crown prominence (Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau)
Polar crown prominence
The plasma waterfall, otherwise known as polar crown prominence (Eduardo Schaberger Poupeau)

Sun goes berserk with a plasma waterfall, in a report, revealed that an Argentinian photographer spotted a huge plasma waterfall, rising 10000 kilometers above the surface, at the polar region of the Sun. These structures are called polar crown prominences and they are large enough to cover the Earth 10 times over. While these structures are not fully understood, they release what we know as fast-moving solar winds. These solar winds can increase the intensity of the solar storm that can strike the Earth tomorrow.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 11 Mar, 11:27 IST