Solar storm with speed of more than 1.3 million kilometers per hour will collide with Earth tomorrow, and researchers warned that it could cause problems with satellites.
An “erupting filament of magnetism” has been spewed into the solar system by the sun at 328 kilometers per second, and it could crash into Earth. The solar storm caused by a swirling pool of magnetism beneath the surface of the sun known as a sunspot.
Sunspots are dim spots on the sun that are usually cooler than the rest of the star.
If experts say they are “cooler,” the average temperature of a sunspot is still over 3,500 degrees Celsius – although this is a drop from the average solar surface of 5,500C.
Typically, they are cooler because sunspots are areas with strong magnetic fields.
Indeed, the magnetism is so strong that it actually prevents some of the heat from escaping.
However, as the magnetic field builds, the pressure in the sunspot increases, which can erupt as a solar flare or coronal mass ejection (CME).
The incoming CME could catch sight of Earth tomorrow or May 13, astronomers said.
If it does, it could cause problems for technologies that rely on satellites.
Space enthusiasts have said it could trigger a G1 geomagnetic storm.
A solar storm of this strength could cause “weak fluctuations in the power grid” and have a “minor impact on satellite operations.”
That’s because the Earth’s magnetic shield expands as it is bombarded with particles, making it harder for satellite signals to penetrate.
Astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on his space weather page, “A CME is coming. The solar storm cloud, which was hurled toward Earth by an erupting filament of magnetism on May 9, is expected to arrive on May 12 or 13.
“This is not a particularly fast or strong CME, but it could trigger G1-class geomagnetic storms and auroras at high latitudes.”
While this solar storm is largely insignificant, some experts have warned that a major solar storm is a matter of “when, not if.”
From time to time, the sun releases a solar flare, which in turn spews energy into space.
Some of these solar flares can hit Earth and in most cases are harmless to our planet.
However, the Sun can also release solar flares so powerful that they can cripple Earth’s technology.
Previous studies have shown that the sun releases an extreme solar flare on average every 25 years, with the last near-Earth flare occurring in 1989.
That storm caused power outages in Quebec, Canada, because conductive rocks on Earth can carry the excess energy from the magnetic shield and feed it into the national power grid.
Although it is impossible to predict when and where a huge solar storm might occur, it is inevitable that one will hit the planet in the future.
Risk consulting firm Drayton Tyler said, “A solar superstorm is an ‘if, not when’ event,” he said.
“In a worst-case scenario, the direct and indirect costs are likely to be in the trillions of dollars, with a recovery time of years rather than months.
“The probability of an event of this magnitude occurring is estimated by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering to be one in ten in any decade.”