NASA: A dangerous solar storm is headed towards the Earth; can cause radio blackouts
After a brief spell of peace, a dangerous solar storm is Earth-bound again. According to NASA, a coronal mass ejection (CME) was spotted leaving the Sun on June 1, and there is a strong likelihood that it can hit the Earth on either June 5 or June 6. The solar storm eruption frequency has grown exponentially high in the months of March and April as a particularly notorious sunspot came in direct view of the Earth. The resultant solar storms caused radio blackouts in different parts of the Earth and disrupted navigation systems for planes and ships. It also impacted short radio communications. After an uneventful May, it appears that solar activity has picked up once again. Read on to find out how dangerous this particular solar storm can be.
SpaceWeather.com explained the events of June 1 and said, “A minor coronal mass ejection (CME) that left the sun on June 1st will pass close to Earth on June 5th, according to NOAA analysts. It might come close enough for a glancing blow. High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives this weekend”.
Solar storm to hit the Earth on June 5
According to NASA classification, this particular solar storm can fall between G1 and G2. The scale of severity of solar storms falls between G1 to G5, with G1 being the weakest and G5 being the strongest. As per the classification, it appears that this solar storm will not cause much problem for us, however, it should be remembered that a G2 strength geomagnetic storm is enough to cause minor impact on GPS, navigation systems and ham radios. So, depending on which side of the Earth faces this solar storm, there might be some inconvenience to these services. At its worst, these geomagnetic storms can damage mobile networks, satellites and even power grids.
It should be remembered that the Sun is still headed towards the solar maximum, which it would reach sometime in 2023. Till then solar activity is going to increase. Although Earth was lucky enough to not see any activity last month, there might be some strong solar storms headed for us soon.
One reason behind the less frequent solar storms could also be that the Earth is moving towards its aphelion position (farthest point in its orbit away from the Sun) which should be in July. However, this does not ascertain that the Earth will not face the wrath of the Sun should another sunspot come into its view. NASA has been closely monitoring the situation along with other agencies like National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.