A huge amount of plasma heading towards Earth from the Sun is expected to hit the planet by Thursday.
The coronal mass ejection, which is a release of plasma and magnetic energy from our star, will emanate from a dying sunspot called AR2987.
Sunspots are cool areas on the Sun’s surface caused by the tremendous power of its magnetic field disrupting the convection process, with AR2987 emitting a Class C solar flare on April 11th.
When it hits Earth – which is expected by April 14 – it could cause a geomagnetic storm, though the ejection is classified as only a “moderate” impact.
On our planet, power systems could experience voltage alarms, spacecraft could experience air resistance, and it’s possible that auroras could be spotted in cities like New York and Idaho.
The Sun is currently experiencing an increase in solar activity as part of its solar cycle, which lasts 11 years and is defined by flares and flares. The number of sunspots in this cycle will increase, peaking in 2025.
While this solar storm is relatively small, the risks a larger one could have on the planet could prove extreme.
One study suggested that a severe solar storm, occurring on average every 100 years, could plunge the world into an “internet apocalypse.”
Earth’s magnetic field normally prevents solar winds — charged particles from the sun — from disrupting the planet, but once every century these escalating winds increase as part of the star’s life cycle and could cause an internet outage lasting several months.
The current from these solar storms can enter and damage long conductors such as power lines.
“In today’s long-distance internet cables, fiber is immune to GIC. But these cables also have electrically powered repeaters at ~100 km intervals that are vulnerable to damage,” said Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi of the University of California, Irvine and VMware Research.
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/solar-storm-from-sun-about-to-hit-earth-and-may-interfere-with-satellites-41552778.html Solar storm from Sun about to hit Earth – and may disrupt satellites