Two solar storms on collision course with Earth; to hit this evening: Expert - Hindustan Times
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Two solar storms on collision course with Earth; to hit this evening, says expert

Jul 07, 2023 04:40 PM IST

Expert predicts that two massive solar storms will impact Earth by today, having the potential to cause life disruptions.

Scientists have predicted that the two massive solar storms to impact Earth on Friday around 5:30 pm, where the charged particles may influence the magnetic field of our planet. This, reportedly, could spark beautiful auroras that may be visible from around the world. However, it is also feared that in extreme cases and in higher latitudes, the ionised particles may disrupt power and communication infrastructure on the surface of Earth in addition to affecting satellites, impacting the global positioning system.

Sun constantly emits solar material into space – both in a steady flow and sometimes, more energetic bursts from solar eruptions, called solar storms. (Nasa)
Sun constantly emits solar material into space – both in a steady flow and sometimes, more energetic bursts from solar eruptions, called solar storms. (Nasa)

“Our Sun celebrates July 4 (US Independence Day) with its own special fireworks! We have two partly Earth-directed solar storms (aka CMEs) on their way. The second storm will catch up to the first giving us a 1,2-punch. Model predictions show impact likely July 7,” tweeted Space Weather physicist Tamitha Skov on Wednesday.

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Along with this, the physicist also shared footage of both Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun's corona, recorded by the SOHO's Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (LASCO).

The physicist further adds that NASA's prediction shows an impact before noon on July 7 UTC (5:30 pm IST time). The first storm is slower & will go mainly northeast. The second is faster & more of a direct hit.

“Fast solar wind follows. G1-level possible with aurora to mid-latitudes,” she tweeted.

What is a solar storm?

According to Nasa, Sun constantly emits solar material into space – both in a steady flow and sometimes, more energetic bursts from solar eruptions, called solar storms. During this period, a collection of charged particles known as Coronal mass ejections, are emitted as huge bubbles threaded with intense magnetic field lines ejected from the Sun over several hours.

What is the impact of solar storms?

When this solar material strikes Earth’s magnetic environment, it sometimes creates geomagnetic storms. These storms may disrupt earth technology in extreme cases. However, such warnings have not been released specifically for these storms.

Cases of solar storms disrupting Earth's life

According to Nasa, a destructive solar storm in 1989 caused electrical blackouts across Quebec for 12 hours.

The most intense solar storm on record, the Carrington Event in 1859, sparked fires at telegraph stations and prevented messages from being sent.

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