WARNING! Dangerous solar storm set to hit Earth, fiery solar winds to blame

    A dangerous solar storm is set to strike the Earth on November 20, caused by the fast-moving solar winds. Know the dangers from the impact of this solar disturbance.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 18 2022, 16:43 IST
    Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
    Sun
    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)
    Sun
    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)
    image caption
    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)
    image caption
    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)
    Solar storm
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    Know all about the solar storm that is set to hit the Earth later this week. (NASA)

    In just a couple of months, the Sun will enter the peak of its solar cycle. While the exact date is not known, it is said that the peak, also known as solar maximum, will approach sometime in the first half of the year. What it would also mean is an increased number of sunspots on the surface of the Sun which will likely explode and release a large number of powerful coronal mass ejections (CME). The result? A dangerous solar storm onslaught which can damage satellites, destroy internet and mobile phones and much more. And in just two days, we will see a glimpse of this potential solar threat.

    The development was noted in a report by SpaceWeather.com which stated, “NOAA forecasters say there is a chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Nov. 20th when a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth. The gaseous material is flowing from a large southern hole in the sun's atmosphere”.

    Tech behind the revelations

    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.

    Solar storm to strike the Earth on Nov 20

    While G1-class solar storms are typically not the strongest, they can still cause a significant amount of problems. They are capable of causing disruption in radio waves, even a blackout. This can also impact GPS systems. As a result, flight timings can be delayed and ship transportation can be affected.

    On the other hand, the strongest solar storms can damage satellites, impact mobile networks and internet connectivity as well as cause power grid failure. Although humans will not be directly impacted by the radiation, due to disruptions to emergency services and power outages at places of high importance, it can still cause a high number of deaths.

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    First Published Date: 18 Nov, 16:42 IST
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