Solar winds flowing from a “northern hole in the sun’s atmosphere” which could hit Earth on February 4 warn experts.
When magnetic field lines travel from the interior of the sun to its surface, they usually remain inside our star.
However, when coronal holes appear, which happens sporadically, the magnetic field lines can stretch out into space in the form of solar winds.
Space Weather – a website which looks at the goings on in space – says solar winds could cause “minor geomagnetic storms” such as aurora borealis or aurora australis.
But there could be bigger problems afoot.
For the most part, the Earth’s magnetic field – or magnetosphere – protects humans from the barrage of radiation, but it can affect satellite-based technology.
Solar winds, which are a stream of particles from the sun, can heat the Earth’s outer atmosphere, causing it to expand.
This can affect satellites in orbit, potentially leading to a lack of GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV such as Sky.
Additionally, a surge of particles can lead to high currents in the magnetosphere, which can lead to higher than normal electricity in power lines, resulting in electrical transformers and power stations blow outs and a loss of power.
The higher amounts of radiation also leave people vulnerable to cancer.
However, the solar storm could result in Southern or Northern Lights – or aurora australis and aurora borealis – depending on which hemisphere the solar winds hit.
As the magnetosphere gets bombarded by solar winds, stunning blue lights can appear over the upper reaches of the Northern hemisphere and the lower parts of the southern hemisphere.