The solar storm is expected to hit Earth today. Here’s more about the August 3 solar storm.
Earth is all set to suffer a direct hit from a solar storm today, which is Wednesday, August 3. The storm is said to be generated through a Coronal Mass Ejection occurring in the Sun’s atmosphere, resulting in high-speed solar winds making their way to Earth.
The solar storm prediction was made by weather forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). According to spaceweather.com, the forecasters observed that “gaseous material is flowing from a southern hole in the sun’s atmosphere.”
The high-speed solar winds interact with the Earth’s electromagnetic field and cause the formation of geomagnetic storms. According to NASA, a geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere which occurs when there is a strong exchange of energy from the solar wind in the space above Earth.
However, the Solar Storm which will hit Earth is expected to be a G-1 class solar storm, which is the lowest in intensity and causes very less damage. 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 and G5 is given to the most severe solar storms.
When a solar storm hits the Earth’s magnetic field, the resultant geomagnetic storm can kill radio communications and affect the power grid. It can cause power and radio blackouts for several hours or even days. However, electricity grid problems occur only if the solar flare is extremely strong.
On the other hand, solar storms cause an extremely beautiful night-sky phenomenon known as Auroras or Northern Lights, which attract astronomers, sky watchers as well as others with stunning streaks of color across the night sky.
The frequency of solar flares is set to increase in the coming years as the Sun reaches the peak of its solar cycle, likely to be around 2025.