Solar storm COMING: Hole opens as Earth prepares for TECH BLACKOUT | Science | News

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Experts believe that the first solar storm of the month will hit on May 6 as a coronal hole has opened up ion the Sun, releasing a huge swarm of cosmic particles.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that the storm could cause northern and southern lights when it arrives.

NOAA has classified the impending solar storm as a G-1 or ‘minor’.

A brief statement on the website Space Weather reads: “NOAA forecasters say G1-class geomagnetic storms are possible when the gaseous material arrives.

“High latitude sky watchers should be alert for weekend auroras, especially in the southern hemisphere where deepening autumn darkness favours the visibility of Southern Lights.”

However, the consequences could be far more serious than the appearance of the Northern or Southern Lights.

For the most part, the Earth’s magnetic field protects humans from the barrage of radiation, but solar storms 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, researchers have noticed that coronal holes are dropping this year.

Space Weather adds: “Sunspots are becoming scarce. Very scarce. So far in 2018 the sun has been blank almost 60% of the time, with whole weeks going by without sunspots.”

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