Prepare for a solar storm attack today! Read NOAA warning

NOAA has issued a warning that the Earth is likely to be hit by a solar storm today, March 9. The solar storm is going to be caused by a CME cloud.

| Updated on: Mar 09 2023, 12:18 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
Solar storm
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)
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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)
Solar storm
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)
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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)
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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 storm
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Know all about the solar storm gearing up to strike the Earth today, March 9. (Pixabay)

This week has been oddly quiet for the Sun. While there have been reports of a new sunspot emerging on the Earth-facing side of the Sun, it has not shown any signs of turning unstable so far. However, the Earth will still have to deal with the terrifying explosions that took place in the notorious sunspot AR3234 last weekend. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) earlier reported that multiple M-class solar flares erupted on March 4 and 5 and they released a huge amount of coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth. Now, the CME cloud is expected to sideswipe our planet today, March 9 to produce a solar storm. Check details below.

The incident was reported by which noted on its website, “Minor solar storms are possible later today or tomorrow when a CME is expected to sideswipe Earth's magnetic field. The CME was launched from the sun on March 6th, the aftermath of an M5.8-class solar flare near the sun's northwestern limb”. It also added that while the impact was expected to be weak, it could still spark auroras in the Arctic circles.

Solar storm to strike the Earth today

The NOAA forecast suggests that the incoming solar storm will be a minor one, which is generally between G1 to G2 class category. A G1-class solar storm is generally harmless and only produces weak auroras in the higher latitudes. However, if it is a G2-class solar storm, it could be more intense than expected.

A G2-class storm can disrupt wireless communications and GPS services, causing trouble for airlines, mariners, ham radio controllers and drone operators. The solar storm can delay flights, cause ships to change course and disrupt any important information that is shared through these low frequency channels. Additionally, more powerful solar storms (G3 and above) can potentially damage satellites, break down mobile networks and internet services, cause power grid failures and corrupt sensitive ground-based electronics. However, it is unlikely that this particular solar storm will get stronger than G3-class.

DSCOVR satellite's role in solar weather monitoring

NOAA monitors the solar storms and 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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First Published Date: 09 Mar, 11:58 IST