The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has classified this storm as G-1 or 'minor'.(AFP)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has classified this storm as G-1 or 'minor'.(AFP)

'Solar wind is coming': Geomagnetic storm can lead to global power failure

  • Geomagnetic storms refer to major or minor disturbances occurring in Earth's magnetosphere due to the efficient exchange of energy from solar winds entering Earth's space environment.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Susmita Pakrasi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 13, 2021 11:56 AM IST

The fierce solar storm which is moving towards the Earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometres per hour is expected to hit the Earth on Tuesday, due to which there may be a power failure around the world, as per spaceweather.com. As a result, wind speeds could reach 500 km/s, leading to geomagnetic storms and high latitude auroras.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has classified this storm as G-1 or 'minor'.

"THE SOLAR WIND IS COMING: Later today, a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. Flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere, wind speeds could top 500 km/s. Full-fledged geomagnetic storms are unlikely, but lesser geomagnetic unrest could spark high latitude auroras," spaceweather.com said.

According to spaceweather.com, the solar flare, flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere, was first detected on July 3.

The satellites in the Earth’s upper atmosphere are also expected to get impacted by the incoming flares. This will directly impact GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV. Power grids can also be hit by solar flares.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Centre of the United States, the storm can also lead to a blackout of high-frequency radio communication for nearly an hour in a vast area.

What is a geomagnetic storm?

Geomagnetic storms refer to major or minor disturbances occurring in Earth's magnetosphere due to the efficient exchange of energy from solar winds entering Earth's space environment.

What are solar flares?

Solar flares are massive explosions on the surface of the sun that release energy, light and high-speed particles into space. According to Nasa, the biggest flares are known as “X-class flares” based on a classification system that categorises solar flares as per their strength. The smallest ones fall under A-class, followed by B, C, M and X. The solar flare that is likely to hit Earth’s magnetic field today is an X-class flare.

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