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A G1 geomagnetic storm watch is in effect between Saturday March 24 and Sunday March 25.
Scientists observing the state of the sun have warned of a hole in the star releasing wave after wave of charged particles and solar winds in our direction.
The US Space Weather Prediction Centre (SWPC) warned: “A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch is issued for 24-25 March due to the arrival of a negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream.”
The hole in the sun’s surface was spotted earlier this week by NASA’s satellites at the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).
Coronal holes on the sun appear whenever the star’s magnetic field is breached, discharging intense radiation, charged particles and solar winds.
Scientists at the SWPC have now updated their space weather forecast to issue the solar storm warning.
They said: “A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for 24-25 March due to the arrival of a polar connected, negative polarity, coronal hole high speed stream.”
The experts have now warned of possible weak power grid fluctuations over the weekend, with some minor impact on satellite operations.
The solar storm could also disorientate migratory animals by confusing their internal compasses.
A solar storm panic was triggered earlier this week when the SWPC warned the solar winds would slam into Earth by Friday.
A minor geomagnetic storm watch was issued for Thursday, but the winds were not intense enough to warrant the alarm bells.
The SWPC said yesterday: “Current solar wind conditions no longer meet G1 (Minor) watch criteria.”
Today the SWPC also noted there is a one percent chance of a Solar Radiation Storm developing if the threshold of protons released by the sun exceeds the S1 (Minor) barrier on the SWPC scales.
‘Moderate’ solar radiation storms have been known to impact passengers and crews in high-altitude aircraft.
At their strongest, solar radiation storms can destroy satellites, lead to high frequency blackouts and slam aircraft with high doses of radiation.
Thankfully for the most part the only visible effects of the storm will be the arrival of the Northern Lights in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, appear whenever charged particles from the sun excite oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere.
The excited elements shift hue, painting the sky in various shades of green, pink, yellow, blue, violet and red.
According to the SWPC, the most likely area of Aurora Extent, will follow a path through the northernmost parts of the US, southern Canada, northern Europe and swathes of Siberia.
Typically, the Earth’s magnetic field shields the planet from the more harmful effects of intense solar activity.
But every so often when activity spikes, the solar winds break through to mess with our instruments and power grids.
In the most extreme cases, solar storms have led to entire cities witnessing blackouts.
Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are ejected from the sun at speeds anywhere between 250 to 3,000kms.
Experts at the SWPC said these ejections reach the planet in about 15 to 18 hours.