A solar storm is expected to hit Earth on Thursday, causing power outages and disruption to GPS and radios, an expert has warned after studying NASA and NOAA models
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Another geomagnetic storm is heading for a “direct hit” with Earth within 48 hours and could cause power, GPS and radio outages.
Models from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict a fast solar wind will help propel the cyclone before it impacts the planet’s magnetic field on Thursday.
At this point, according to one expert, it should “intensify”.
It’s the second in a few days – and it could wreak havoc on satellites and trigger power surges, the Daily Express reports.
Space weather physicist Tamitha Skov took to Twitter today with the warning.
She said: “Direct hit – NOAA and NASA solar storm forecast models show the storm hitting on April 14, just before a fast solar wind stream.
“That should intensify the storm as the current will give him a nudge from behind!”
(Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)
She added: “The chances of achieving G2 level conditions are 80 percent at high latitudes and 20 percent at mid-latitudes.
“The risk of radio failure remains low, but amateur radio operators and GPS users face interference on the night side of the earth.”
When solar storms reach Earth’s magnetic field, blackouts could cause blackouts if they hit transformers directly, reports the Daily Express.
NASA says the G2-class storm will arrive due to coronal mass ejection (CME) — a large release of plasma from the Sun’s outer layer.
Such a storm occurs when enough energy is exchanged from the solar wind in close proximity to Earth.
The storms are then ranked by the US Space Weather Center (SWPC) on a scale from G1 Minor to G5 Extreme.
It says that when CMEs collide with the planet’s magnetosphere, “all that extra radiation can damage the satellites we use for communications and navigation, it can disrupt power grids that supply our electricity.”
The incoming disturbance could cause auroras similar to the Northern Lights.
The Aurora Borealis itself could be visible Sunday through Tuesday if skies are clear enough, the Met Office says.
Ms Skov continued, “Aurora field reporters, make sure you charge your camera batteries!”
She continued, “NASA’s solar storm forecast model shows the hit occurred a little later on April 14.
“In any case, both indicate an excellent chance for auroras!”
It comes after a G3 storm classified as large hit the atmosphere on Sunday and was still felt on Tuesday.
Experts have warned that Earth would struggle to deal with the effects of a G5 storm should it occur.
According to SpaceWeather.com, the current solar winds blow at 516.6 km/s and have a density of 7.5 protons/cm3.
In late March, 17 solar flares emanating from a single point on the sun result in another solar storm warning.
NASA observatories spotted the flares before announcing that at least two of them were on a direct collision course with Earth.
According to scientific observations, solar activity naturally rises and falls every 11 years.
Though the pattern isn’t quite clockwork and astronomers believe we’re now entering a period of increased solar activity that could peak in 2025.
In 2020, a new family of sunspots has been found on our star’s surface.
This produced the largest solar flare astronomers have seen since 2017.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/solar-storm-heading-direct-hit-26699477 Solar storm heading straight for Earth within 48 hours, NASA model says