Powerful solar storm strikes! More possible today as solar winds rush towards the Earth
On November 6, a strong solar storm struck the Earth and shockingly, sparked auroras as far south as Texas. But it appears that another solar storm is likely to hit today, as solar winds are expected to hit the planet soon.
Last week, a forecast revealed that three coronal mass ejections had a probability of striking the Earth early this week. The forecast had given different probabilities based on how different circumstances can affect the intensity of the resultant solar storm. It turned out that in a rare coincidence, the conditions were met to spark the worst-possible solar event, and a G3-class storm ensued yesterday, November 6. While a lot of it has subsided, the solar storm event does not look like it is going to subside anytime soon. A stream of solar winds is headed for the Earth, and it can spark another round of solar storms, that can reach the intensity of G2-class, which is possible today, November 7.
According to a report by SpaceWeather.com, “NOAA forecasters say there is a chance of G2-class geomagnetic storms today, Nov. 7th, when the subsiding effects of Sunday's CME might overlap with an incoming solar wind stream. Earth's magnetosphere is already humming with G1-class activity, and it won't take much to push it across the threshold to G2”.
Intense solar storm activity plagues the Earth
On November 6, only two of the three CMEs made contact with the Earth, but despite that, the resultant geomagnetic storm reached a G3-class intensity. It is believed that the first CME could have been a cannibalized CME, which is a hybrid of two different CME clouds. We do not have a confirmation on that, however.
“Two CMEs hit Earth over the weekend--one on Saturday, Nov. 4th, another on Sunday, Nov. 5th. The double blow sparked a strong G3-class geomagnetic storm with auroras as far south as Colorado (+40.1N) and Texas (+33.6N),” another report by SpaceWeathet.com revealed.
Unlike in March, this time we are yet to come on-ground impact of this solar storm. The last time a G3-class storm struck, oil rigs in Canada were forced to halt operations due to a high build-up of static electricity in the atmosphere.
How NOAA's DSCOVR satellite monitors the Sun
NOAA monitors solar storms and the Sun's behavior using its DSCOVR satellite which became operational in 2016. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared. The different measurements are done on temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation, and frequency of the solar particles.
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