Due to an equatorial hole created in the Sun’s atmosphere earlier in July, a high-speed (powerful) solar storm is advancing towards Earth, with a speed of 1.6 million kilometres and is expected to hit the planet on Tuesday (July 13) or Wednesday (July 14).
In technical sense, the turbo speed solar wind termed as a ‘geomagnetic storm’, is expected to hit the Earth’s magnetic field, which has very chances of messing with or affecting the communication infrastructure around the world, like satellites, GPS, in extension to a possibility of hitting power grids too, which could in turn affect electric supply to some areas.
Earlier in July, on the 3rd, a solar flare generated from a sunspot called AR2838 exploded, which resulted in a radio blackout over the Atlantic.
Solar Flare Could Affect Satellite Communication
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) states that the solar storm is advancing towards Earth with a speed of 1.6 kmph, while the same can travel at a maximum speed of 500 km per second, states spaceweather.com.
Scientists are of the view that the geomagnetic storm can hit the satellites present on the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, thereby impacting GPS navigation, mobile phone signals and satellite TV.
If not hit directly with the communication bodies, Spaceweather.com states that due to the high-speed solar storms, the outer atmosphere of the Earth can be heated which can have a direct effect on satellites.
Additionally, the solar flares could also hit power grids, which if takes form could result in power outages and electricity blackouts in some parts of the world, states predictions by the Space Weather Prediction Centre of the United States.
The magnitude of the flares (winds) could also lead to a geomagnetic storm in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
What is a Solar Flare?
A solar flare is a sudden, rapid, and intense variation in brightness on the Sun’s surface, resulting from the release of massive energy fields.
Scientists have marked the solar flares (in current discussion) at X1 level. NASA states that the biggest flares are known as ‘X-class flares’, when classified wrt the strength of a solar flare.
For people living closer to the poles, there could be celestial lighting, resulting into beautiful aurora at night, due to the solar storm.