TERRIFYING double solar storm to strike the Earth today, says NASA; Know the danger

NASA has predicted that a double solar storm attack will strike the Earth around 5:30 PM today, July 7. Know just how intense it can be and what to expect.

| Updated on: Jul 07 2023, 09:40 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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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Two separate CME clouds will strike the Earth today to spark the double solar storm, revealed NASA. (Pixabay)

The biggest cosmic event of the week is scheduled for today. Earlier this week, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) of NASA detected two separate coronal mass ejections from the Sun, with both of them expected to make partial contact with the Earth. This event is being called the ‘double solar storm' event and as per NASA, it will occur today, July 7, at around 5:30 PM IST/ 12 PM UTC. The event is concerning to researchers because two separate CME hits can greatly amplify the overall intensity of the solar storm and can cause unexpected destruction.

Dr. Tamitha Skov, a space weather scientist and popularly known as the space weather woman, tweeted, “The Sun launches double punch #solarstorms on #July4th! NASA prediction shows impact before noon July 7 UTC. The first storm is slower & will go mainly northeast. The second is faster & more a direct hit. Fast solar wind follows”. She further added that a G1-class storm is possible with auroras spreading across till mid-latitudes.

Double solar storm to strike the Earth today

While early predictions show that the possibility of a solar storm is between minor to moderate, it cannot be said with certainty just how strong the event might be. Even if it ends up being moderate, such solar storms can still cause radio blackouts and disrupt GPS signals, although they are not intense enough to affect mobile networks or damage satellites.

Even after this event, another solar threat is brewing up for our planet. As per a report by Spaceweather.com, a new and large sunspot is now entering the Earth's view from the southeastern limb of the Sun. The helioseismic echo from the farside of the Sun suggests that the sunspot can be even bigger than the AR3354 group that exploded twice and produced an X-class solar flare.

Know about the Hinode (Solar-B) satellite

Hinode ( Solar-B ) is a Japanese-led solar mission with the participation of the European Space Agency (ESA). It was launched on September 23, 2006, and continues to be in operation today. The main goal of the mission is to study the mechanisms that power the solar atmosphere and look for the causes of violent solar eruptions.

Hinode carries a suite of three science instruments. First, an optical telescope, which images the Sun in visible light; second, an X-ray telescope, which images the Sun in X-rays; and third, an extreme ultraviolet imaging spectrometer, which measures the intensity of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light from the Sun.

These instruments are used to study the generation, transport, and dissipation of magnetic energy from the photosphere to the corona. They are also used to record how energy stored in the Sun's magnetic field is released as the field rises into the Sun's outer atmosphere.

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First Published Date: 07 Jul, 09:39 IST