Solar storm WARNING! Fast moving solar wind set to strike Earth; Know when

    According to reports, a solar storm is set to strike the Earth between December 8 and 9, caused by fast-moving solar wind. Know the dangers from the impact of this solar disturbance.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Dec 06 2022, 10:32 IST
    WARNING! Solar Storm to hit Earth soon
    According to Spaceweather.com’s report, the new sunspot is so huge that it is even changing the way the sun vibrates. The Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the geomagnetic field around Earth would be unsettled over the weekend which could disrupt the radio-magnetic sphere.
    1/5 According to Spaceweather.com’s report, the new sunspot is so huge that it is even changing the way the sun vibrates. The Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the geomagnetic field around Earth would be unsettled over the weekend which could disrupt the radio-magnetic sphere. (nasa.gov)
    Solar flare
    2/5 Spaceweather.com said, “A high speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. Estimated time of arrival: Aug. 9th. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.” (SDO/NASA)
    Coronal Mass Ejection or CME
    3/5 Solar storms occur due to a coronal mass ejection (CME) that is set off on the surface of the Sun. As per the K-index, which measures the magnetic field around the Earth, solar storms are divided into 5 classes from G-1 to G-5. The G-1 is the lowest impact solar G5 is given to the most severe solar storms. (Pixabay)
    Solar flare
    4/5 According to NASA, Sunspots are dark areas on the solar surface which contain strong magnetic fields that are constantly shifting and can form and dissipate over periods of days or weeks. They occur when strong magnetic fields emerge through the solar surface and allow the area to cool slightly. (Pixabay)
    Aurora or Northern lights
    5/5 When solar flares hit Earth, they interact with the Earth’s electromagnetic field to cause a Geomagnetic storm. It may cause blackouts, GPS problems. However, if the solar storm is big enough, it can wreak havoc on all the earth's technological infrastructure. It is also the reason behind the stunning night-sky phenomenon that we know as Auroras or Northern Lights. (Pixabay)
    Solar Storm
    View all Images
    Know all about the solar storm that is set to hit the Earth later this week. (@KaniskiDylan / Twitter)

    In the last couple of months, solar activity has reduced in frequency. This is highly unusual because as we know, the Sun is getting closer to the peak of its Solar cycle known as the Solar Maximum. The peak will be reached sometime in the first half of 2023. The lack of strong solar flares or direct coronal mass ejection (CME) hits to Earth is being considered a coincidence since there have been quite a few explosions on the farside. But now, things appear to change as there are five big sunspots and multiple magnetic filaments facing the Earth which can set off any moment. And the first assault of the Sun is already underway. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), fast-moving solar wind is approaching the Earth which can cause massive solar storms on our planet.

    The development was reported by SpaceWeather.com which noted on its website, “A high speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. ETA: Dec. 8th or 9th. The gaseous material is flowing from a canyon-shaped hole in the sun's atmosphere. Minor G1-class solar storms are possible when the solar wind arrives”.

    Earth to brace for a midweek solar storm attack

    While the website mentioned a G1-class solar storm, which is typically not the strongest, it does not mean that these solar disturbances are harmless. These are still capable of causing disruption in radio waves and causing a radio blackout. This can also impact GPS systems. As a result, flight timings can be delayed and ship transportation can be affected. If you are in the affected zone (which you can find out closer to the weekend on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website), you should check if any of your flights have been rescheduled. Alternatively, if you have a pacemaker, you should avoid flying during these hours as the solar storm could potentially corrupt the motherboard of the device.

    NOAA's tech stack that predicts solar storms

    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: 06 Dec, 10:31 IST
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