Solar storm ALERT! Massive CME clouds, triggered by magnetic filaments on the Sun, can strike the Earth today

NOAA forecasters have revealed that the Earth can be hit by a CME cloud today, April 20. Know how dangerous this solar storm is likely to be.

| Updated on: Apr 20 2023, 09:14 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
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)
image caption
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)
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)
image caption
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)
image caption
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
View all Images
Know all about the solar storm which is expected to hit the Earth today. (Pixabay)

In the last two days, we have been discussing the potential danger of these magnetic filaments which have appeared on the Sun. For the unaware, a magnetic filament is a large stream of plasma and magnetic field structure extending outward from the Sun's surface, often in a loop. They release huge amounts of coronal mass ejections (CME) to cause solar storms on Earth. And one such storm is headed for our planet today, April 20. But that's not all. There is a likelihood that after this preliminary attack, another bigger solar storm hit is waiting for the Earth in the next few days.

The information comes from a report by which stated, “NOAA forecasters say that minor G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible on April 20th when a CME is expected to deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field. The CME was hurled in our direction by the eruption of a solar magnetic filament on April 16th”.

Solar storm to hit the Earth today

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have revealed that the incoming geomagnetic storm today is expected to be a minor storm with only a G1-intensity. Such storms are usually associated with weak aurora displays and minor fluctuations in GPS and shortwave wireless communications. However, a bigger threat is waiting for us just beyond this storm.

Earlier this week, space weather physicist Tamitha Skov said in a tweet that a glancing blow from a CME would be followed up with a direct hit of a much denser CME cloud. While there is no prediction around its intensity, it is believed that it could be in the region of G2-class to G3-class geomagnetic storm.

Such storms can do more damage. They can damage small satellites, impact mobile networks, GPS, and even pose a threat to ground-based electronics and power grids by increasing the magnetic potential by huge amounts.

Know how NOAA monitors the Sun

While many space agencies from NASA with its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) keep track of Sun-based weather phenomena, one that particularly stands out is the DSCOVR satellite by NOAA. The satellite became operational in 2016 and tracks different measurements of the Sun and its atmosphere including temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation and frequency of the solar particles. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 20 Apr, 09:12 IST
keep up with tech