Will Earth be safe from deadly solar storms? When will that happen? | Tech News

Will Earth be safe from deadly solar storms? When will that happen?

In recent months, the Earth has been continuously facing the wrath of the Sun in the form of intense solar storm activity. But is it going to continue or will there be an end to it in the near future? Find out.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 31 2022, 19:59 IST
WARNING! Solar Storm to hit Earth soon
Solar storm
1/5 According to Spaceweather.com’s report, the new sunspot is so huge that it is even changing the way the sun vibrates. The Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the geomagnetic field around Earth would be unsettled over the weekend which could disrupt the radio-magnetic sphere. (nasa.gov)
Solar storm
2/5 Spaceweather.com said, “A high speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. Estimated time of arrival: Aug. 9th. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.” (SDO/NASA)
Solar storm
3/5 Solar storms occur due to a coronal mass ejection (CME) that is set off on the surface of the Sun. As per the K-index, which measures the magnetic field around the Earth, solar storms are divided into 5 classes from G-1 to G-5. The G-1 is the lowest impact solar G5 is given to the most severe solar storms. (Pixabay)
Solar storm
4/5 According to NASA, Sunspots are dark areas on the solar surface which contain strong magnetic fields that are constantly shifting and can form and dissipate over periods of days or weeks. They occur when strong magnetic fields emerge through the solar surface and allow the area to cool slightly. (Pixabay)
Solar storm
5/5 When solar flares hit Earth, they interact with the Earth’s electromagnetic field to cause a Geomagnetic storm. It may cause blackouts, GPS problems. However, if the solar storm is big enough, it can wreak havoc on all the earth's technological infrastructure. It is also the reason behind the stunning night-sky phenomenon that we know as Auroras or Northern Lights. (Pixabay)
Solar storm
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Know when the Earth can finally be safe from the continuous onslaught of solar storm attack from the Sun. (NASA)

Ever since the beginning of 2022, the Earth has been plagued by continuous and intense solar storms. According to data by SpaceWeatherLive, there have been more than 50 solar storms which were at least M2 class or above in just this year so far. These solar storms have disrupted GPS systems and caused navigation obstructions for planes, ships and shortwave radio operators. And that is not the worst they can do. Examples of the Carrington event in 1859 and the Halloween solar storm in 2003 show a glimpse of how destructive these fiery solar radiations can be. But why has solar storms been causing problems for us so much this year and will there be an end anytime soon? Read on to find out.

Why has the Sun producing so many solar storms

The Sun undergoes solar cycles which last about 11 years. It is categorized on the basis of varying solar activity that takes place on its surface. Every solar cycle has a peak and a trough. The peak is called Solar Maximum and is denoted by the highest solar activity. During this period the Sun produces a large number of sunspots and has continuous solar flare eruptions, which send out CME in space and when they hit the Earth, it causes solar storms. On the other hand, during the trough period, known as the Solar Minimum, the solar activity remains at its lowest and sunspots are barely seen. It is not known why this period is 11 years long or why the Sun undergoes such cycles.

However, right now the Sun has entered its 25th solar cycle and in 2023, it will hit its peak when both the number as well as the intensity of the solar storms will be at its highest.

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Will the solar onslaught ever stop

Once the Sun hits its peak in 2023, the nuclear explosions on its surface as well as the number of sunspots will reduce. And then till 2030, the number of such incidents will keep reducing till the Sun hits its Solar Minimum. After that, the 26th solar cycle will begin.

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First Published Date: 31 Aug, 19:58 IST
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