This is how long the geomagnetic storm sparked by the Sun lasted on Earth
- The CMEs from the Sun collided with the magnetic field of Earth at 583 km/sec speed, causing a G3 geomagnetic storm on Earth.
The second solar flare eruption within a week has sparked another geomagnetic storm on the Earth. If nothing else, it gifted the inhabitants of Earth one of the most intense displays of auroras in years. The northern United States, Canada, and other high-latitude regions in the Northern Hemisphere lit up with the dazzling northern lights. In fact, the auroras were observed as far south as Southern New England and Nebraska, as well as in the more typical northern regions such as North Europe.
As the Sun has started its new solar cycle, an increasing number of giant solar flares are expected to be fired towards the Earth. The coronal mass ejection from the Sun this time caused a geomagnetic storm of G3-level intensity and it continued for as long as 20 hours. The solar flare collided with the magnetic field of the Earth at an awe-inspiring speed of 583 kilometres per second.
In fact, this solar mass ejection was special in a way. spaceweather.com reported that this was a "Cannibal coronal mass ejection (CME)", which is an amalgamation of multiple solar storms. These struck the Earth together as the latest storm consumed the previous one in itself and then hit the Earth.
According to Nasa, a geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when the solar wind exchanges energy very efficiently in the space around Earth.
What is a CME?
Talking about coronal mass ejection, the Space Weather Prediction Center explained that CME occurs when the Sun's corona releases a substantial amount of plasma, which can emit billions of tons of coronal particles.
How is cannibal CMEs different?
Cannibal CME comprises a complicated magnetic field and compressed plasma particles. As the CME struck the Earth's magnetic field, a significant rise in transverse magnetic fields, density, and plasma wind speeds was observed. Satellites observed that the solar winds saw a "stair step structure" on Wednesday night, indicating that several CMEs were grouped together. For the past week, the Sun has been extremely active, releasing devastating storms towards the solar system's inner planets.
CMEs travel outward from the Sun at rates ranging from less than 250 kilometres per second to about 3000 kilometres per second. The minimum time that CMEs take to reach Earth is as little as 15-18 hours. If they happen within a certain timeframe, the later ones can overtake the earlier ones if their speeds are higher.
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