Sun releases multiple CMEs; One to spark solar storm, trigger auroras on Nov 25, says NASA
Multiple overlapping CMEs have burst out of the Sun yesterday night, November 25. NASA says one of them is headed for the Earth and will spark a solar storm on November 25.
Solar activity has witnessed a massive spike since last week. Space agencies and researchers have noted regular solar flare eruptions, an increase in the number of sunspots, and bombardment of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). While not all of this solar activity is Earth-directed, some of it has affected our planet as well. In the last 24 hours, there have been two incidents of short-wave radio blackouts sparked by M-class solar flare eruptions, and now, NASA has revealed that a CME is also headed for us. It can hit us on November 25 and spar auroras, as per early readings by prediction models.
According to a report by SpaceWeather.com, “Just today multiple overlapping CMEs have billowed away from the Sun. A NASA model already suggests one may be heading for Earth…could hit our planet's magnetic field during the late hours of Nov. 25th”.
Solar storm possible on November 25
The sharp incline in solar activity is attributed to the Sun nearing the peak of its Solar Cycle, which is expected to arrive in the middle of 2024. Till then, the solar activity is expected to ramp up, resulting in more frequent sunspot formations and solar flare eruptions.
According to the report, sunspot numbers have increased almost 10 times since the last week, with as many as 12 cores presently active on the Earth-facing side of the Sun. Any of these sunspots can turn active, resulting in intense solar flare eruptions.
The incoming CME that NASA models have shown to hit the Earth on November 25 is currently an unknown entity. Its intensity cannot be measured at this time, so, it is hard to tell its overall impact on the planet. However, it is expected that it will spark auroras in the geoeffective area. Additionally, smaller lower Earth orbit (LEO) satellites may find increasing air drag as a result of the storm, which can sometimes disrupt its services. Radio blackouts can also be another consequence of the solar storm.
How NASA SOHO watches the Sun
NASA's SOHO is a satellite that was launched on December 2, 1995. It is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the sun, its atmosphere, and its effects on the solar system. Equipped with 12 scientific instruments, such as an Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT), Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), LASCO (Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph), and others, SOHO captures images of the sun's corona, measures the velocity and magnetic fields of the sun's surface, and observes the faint corona around the sun.