Solar Storm to hit Earth tonight! Should you be worried about its impact?

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New Delhi | Updated: March 15, 2018 12:54:56 PM

A solar storm is all set to batter Earth this evening. The geomagnetic storm is said to be of minor nature and is placed in the G1 category.

solar storm, geomagnetic storm, earth, sun, solar flare, satellite, auroraA solar storm is all set to batter Earth this evening. The geomagnetic storm is said to be of minor nature and is placed in the G1 category.

Ever heard of a solar storm? Well, that’s quite an unheard term for all of us who have faced terms like that of a bomb cyclone this year. But, this is the newest natural phenomenon expected to hit planet earth tonight. As per the US Space Weather Prediction Centre, a geomagnetic storm is all set to batter Earth this evening. The geomagnetic storm is said to be of minor nature and is placed in the G1 category.

“A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect for the 14 and 15 March 2018 UTC-days. The arrival of a co-rotating interaction region (CIR), followed by a recurrent, negative polarity coronal hole high-speed stream (CH HSS) is expected to cause the escalated geomagnetic responses,” the SWPC website said. It also issued a warning and has asked to keep checking the webpage for the latest forecasts, warnings, and alerts.

So, what actually is a solar storm and is it a cause of worry for fellow earthlings? A solar storm occurs when the earth is bombarded by sun’s radiation. As per the SWPC report, the storm is in effect after a monstrous tear in the sun’s surface that opened up last night. The tear has been spotted by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and the massive coronal opening ripping through the sun’s surface are visible in the SDO images. Now, these coronal holes appear on the sun’s surface where the magnetic field paves the way for intense solar winds. The solar flares interact with the magnetosphere and create beautiful structures called auroras.

As far as its harmful effects are concerned, the solar storms are expected to impact power systems. They might result in weak power grid fluctuations. Scientists have warned that the storm could affect GPS navigation systems and mobile phone signals. They can also have minor impact on the satellite operations. The report states that the solar storm will hit high latitudes like the northern hemisphere, which could lead to the Northern Lights, being seen as far south as the upper reaches of Scotland. It is also expected to be seen in Michigan and Maine in the United States.

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