Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth and spark a geomagnetic storm today, says NOAA | Tech News

Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth and spark a geomagnetic storm today, says NOAA

NOAA forecasters have shed light on a CME that is expected to hit Earth soon and could spark a geomagnetic storm. Know all about this solar storm alert.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Apr 18 2024, 11:30 IST
Solar storm effects: From power grid failures to radio blackouts, know the dangers
Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth, spark a geomagnetic storm today
1/5 Geomagnetic storms - The high-speed solar flares spewed out by a solar storm interact with the Earth's electromagnetic field and spark Geomagnetic storms. According to NASA, a geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere which occurs when there is a strong exchange of energy from the solar wind in the space above Earth. (Pixabay)
Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth, spark a geomagnetic storm today
2/5 Power grid failures - NASA says when solar storms hit Earth, they interact with the planet’s magnetosphere and induce currents in electrical systems. This leaves power grids vulnerable to major blackouts. For this to be possible, the solar storms have to be extremely powerful. (Unsplash)
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3/5 Change bird migration patterns - Solar Storms can also cause a change in the migration patterns of birds, whales and even bees. Since birds rely on the magnetic fields of the Earth for navigation, their migration patterns are affected. (Unsplash)
Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth, spark a geomagnetic storm today
4/5 Radio blackouts - One of the major effects of solar storms is Radio blackouts. While the planet's magnetic field acts as a shield and protects it from most of these dangerous solar particles, these do get funnelled towards the poles, where they cause an ionizing effect, effectively absorbing shortwave radio waves and causing a loss of communication. (Unsplash)
Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth, spark a geomagnetic storm today
5/5 Auroras - When a Solar Storm hits Earth, it sparks a Geomagnetic storm and the magnetic field lines of the Earth temporarily get disturbed, releasing extremely high magnetic energy. The energy and heat are enough to ionize oxygen present in the upper atmosphere and turn it into blue-green hues of light, which we know as Auroras or Northern lights. (Pexels)
Solar storm alert: CME could hit Earth, spark a geomagnetic storm today
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A geomagnetic storm could be sparked by a CME. Check details about this oncoming solar storm. (Pixabay)

Just weeks after the Vernal Equinox, the solar activity is still going strong. As we approach the peak of solar cycle 25, it is expected to increase further. According to NASA, this might lead to an increase in the frequency as well as the intensity of solar phenomena like solar particles, CMEs, solar flares, solar storms and geomagnetic storms. Now, forecasters have shed light on a CME that is expected to hit Earth soon and could spark a geomagnetic storm. Know all about this solar storm alert.

Solar storm alert

According to a Space Weather report, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say that a CME is predicted to hit Earth's magnetic field today, April 18. This could spark a G1-class geomagnetic storm. As per the forecast, the CME is faint but it may still result in a geomagnetic storm.

The report states, “NOAA forecasters say that a G1-class geomagnetic storm is possible on April 18th when a CME is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. It's a faint CME, probably not very potent, but even a weak CME impact can spark auroras. A similar CME hit Earth on April 15th and the results were beautiful.”

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Are G1 geomagnetic storms harmful?

According to NASA, G1-class geomagnetic storms are considered minor storms and are not likely to cause major damage. Although these storms aren't powerful enough to damage satellites or disrupt the mobile network, geomagnetic storms can still disrupt the shortwave radio network and cause blackouts.

However, if a geomagnetic storm is strong enough, it can do more damage than just Auroras. They can damage small satellites, impact mobile networks, and GPS, and even pose a threat to ground-based electronics and power grids by increasing the magnetic potential by huge amounts.

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First Published Date: 18 Apr, 11:30 IST
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