Solar storm warning issued for today; geomagnetic storm may spark auroras, power cuts | Tech News

Solar storm warning issued for today; geomagnetic storm may spark auroras, power cuts

Be prepared for a solar storm today. You may get to see dazzling auroras and some power disruptions due to geomagnetic storm.

| Updated on: Sep 03 2023, 09:14 IST
The pivotal role of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics in crafting Aditya-L1's solar corona study payload
Solar Strom
1/6 The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) has announced its pivotal role in the Aditya-L1 mission. This landmark project, a collaborative effort with ISRO, aims to revolutionize our understanding of the Sun. (ISRO)
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2/6 IIA's team has built the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), an important part of the seven payloads aboard Aditya-L1. VELC will uncover the mysteries of the solar corona, bringing us closer to comprehending our star. For the unaware, the solar corona is the outermost layer of the Sun. (ISRO)
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3/6 "In its quest to assemble the VELC payload, IIA established India's pioneering "Class to Clean Rooms" at its CREST campus in Hosakote. This effort underscores our commitment to technological excellence," said the institution. (ISRO)
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4/6 Embracing the Sun's Halo Orbit: Aditya-L1 is poised for liftoff from Sriharikota on September 2. As part of this extraordinary mission, the satellite will be positioned in a halo orbit around the first Lagrangian point (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, offering uninterrupted solar observations. (ISRO)
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5/6 Unveiling the Solar Secrets: VELC's revolutionary capabilities include simultaneous imaging, spectroscopy, and spectro-polarimetry channels. These features enable us to probe the solar corona's intricate dynamics, origin of coronal mass ejections, and magnetic field measurements, propelling solar science into a new era. (ISRO)
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6/6 The insights gleaned from Aditya-L1's scientific voyage will not only deepen our understanding of the solar corona but also furnish essential data for space weather studies. As India continues to make strides in space exploration, Aditya-L1's mission promises to enlighten us about both the moon and the sun. (ISRO)
Solar Strom
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A solar storm is heading for Earth today and when it slams into the atmosphere, a level 1 geomagnetic storm is expected. It will paint the night sky with auroras today. (Unsplash)

A solar storm is heading for Earth today and the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) of the National Weather Service has issued a Geomagnetic Storm Watch for today, September 3, 2023. On this day, Earth may experience a G1 level geomagnetic storm, the mildest on the 1-5 scale. While this geomagnetic storm could cause some aurora displays and minor disruptions in electrical grids, navigation, and communication systems, it is not expected to be a severe event, according to

The Current Geomagnetic Activity

The SWPC reports that a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm began on September 2nd as Earth was hit by a high-speed solar wind stream that is generated by the Sun when it releases huge amounts of energy out into space. Notably, this solar storm is distinct from two Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) heading towards Earth. The first CME left the sun on August 30th, and the second was launched on September 1st. The arrival of these CMEs on September 3rd may extend the ongoing storm and potentially elevate it to a G2 level geomagnetic storm.

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What Are Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)?

Coronal Mass Ejections, or CMEs, are massive releases of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun's corona. They can expel billions of tons of material and carry an embedded magnetic field stronger than the background solar wind's interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). CMEs travel at varying speeds, some reaching Earth in as little as 15-18 hours, while others take days. As they move away from the Sun, CMEs increase in size, with larger ones encompassing a substantial portion of the space between Earth and the Sun upon arrival.

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The Impact of Geomagnetic Storms

When a CME interacts with Earth's magnetosphere, its impact depends on the energy level and angle of contact. Geomagnetic storms have the potential to disrupt electronics, electrical systems, and spacecraft communication. They can also produce spectacular aurora displays in the night sky.

In the case of the G1-class geomagnetic storm today, minor power grid fluctuations may occur, especially in northern latitudes. Satellite operations could experience minor disruptions, and aurora displays may extend further south than usual, potentially reaching northern Michigan and Maine. If the geomagnetic storm intensifies, auroras could become even more vibrant and extend further southward.

While this storm event is being closely monitored, it is important to note that it is expected to be relatively mild, with minimal impacts on daily life and technology.

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First Published Date: 03 Sep, 09:14 IST