Scary! Strong New Year Solar Storm to strike Earth SOON as Sun says Happy new year! | Tech News

Scary! Strong New Year Solar Storm to strike Earth SOON as Sun says Happy new year!

The fierce Sun is directly facing our planet, and it is crackling and scattering M-class solar flares as its happy new year message!

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jan 01 2023, 10:18 IST
6 TERRIFYING solar storms that blasted Earth in 2022
Solar Storm
1/6 On June 29, a surprise solar storm struck the Earth. The solar storm was not caused by coronal mass ejections (CME) but by a corotating interaction region (CIR), which opened a hole in the Earth's magnetosphere. It was a G1-class solar storm which is capable of causing shortwave radio blackouts and GPS disruptions. Interestingly, it coincided with the rare five planet alignment event.  (NASA)
Solar Storm
2/6 Extremely rare pink auroras could be seen on November 3 near Greenland, after a G1-class solar storm slammed into the Earth. Solar storms usually give a greenish hue due to ionizing of Oxygen atoms. However, the CME in this case was able to reach the lower strata of the atmosphere which ionized Nitrogen atoms and gave off the rare pink aura.  (Representative Photo) (Pixabay)
Solar Storm
3/6 On November 6, a powerful solar flare which was estimated to be an X-class solar flare caused temporary radio blackouts in Australia and New Zealand. The resultant solar storm blocked all high frequency radio waves making it hard for various emergency services and airlines that use radio communications to operate for multiple hours.  (Pixabay)
Solar Storm
4/6 On August 7 and 8, a mysterious phenomenon was seen after a solar storm strike which scientists call STEVE (strong thermal emission velocity enhancement). A gigantic ribbon of purple light followed by a wave of green light could be seen in many parts of North America.   (@KaniskiDylan / Twitter)
Solar Storm
5/6 A rare double solar storm attack was seen on March 14 when a G2-class solar storm was quickly followed up with another G1-class solar storm. Scientists believe that such multiple solar storm attacks are going to be more frequent in coming days as the Sun reaches the peak of its solar cycle. (Pixabay)
Solar Storm
6/6 On October 25, the Sun seemed to beam a smile at Earth even as it spewed a stream of dangerous solar particles towards our planet. Multiple dark regions popped up on the Sun that gave an uncanny impression of a smiley face. The resultant solar storm from the event was noted to be a G2-class which is so strong that it is capable of causing fluctuations in electricity grids on Earth.  (SDO/AIA)
Solar Storm
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A happy new year has started and there is a scary Solar Storm on its way as the Sun just sent it greetings. (NASA)

The Sun just said happy new year to everyone! As the New Year celebrations began, the Earth stepped into the zone, directly facing the parts of the Sun that are spewing out solar flares! Just a few days ago, it spewed out an M3.7-class solar flare on December 30th at 19:38 UT, one of the strongest so far, which caused a shortwave radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean. However, as a result, it also provided some of the most spectacular auroras as a new year gift at the end of the year 2022 and beginning of 2023. Now, another Sunspot AR3176 is directly facing our planet, and it is crackling with M-class solar flares, a report by SpaceWeather.com mentioned.

Basically, the solar flares are classified into four classes - A, B, C, M, and X based on their intensity. So, the most powerful solar flare would be an X-classified solar flare while M denotes the second most powerful solar flare. The number along with the intensity symbol of the solar flare denotes its strength.

Astrophysicist and Space Weather reporter Tamitha Skov also took to Twitter to share about the possible solar storm and its impact on Earth. Her prediction indicated that you should expect a solar storm on January 2.

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“After more coronagraph observations have come in, NOAA has now published their #solarstorm prediction. The impact is early to mid-day Jan 4. Likely the impact will be a time between NOAA & NASA. If on the early side (e.g. Jan 2), expect a stronger storm, if late, expect weaker!” Tamitha Skov's tweet reads.

If a solar flare strikes the Earth, then it can affect radio communications, power grids, and navigation signals. However, harmful radiation from a solar flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground unless it is extremely powerful. But it can cause delays and cancellations of flights.

Tech behind solar storm predictions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitors 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 satellite tracks different measurements of the Sun and its atmosphere such as temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation, and frequency of the solar particles.

 

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First Published Date: 01 Jan, 10:13 IST
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