Solar storm TODAY: STRONG chance massive stream of cosmic rays will bombard Earth | Science | News

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Forecasts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say that there is a 55 percent chance that a solar storm will envelop Earth sometimes today.

The cosmic rays are flowing from a huge gap in the sun’s ‘atmosphere’, called a coronal hole, which is releasing a huge amount of particles.

As it stands, the NOAA says the forecast for the impending solar storm is G-1 or ‘minor’.

However, this could be updated to a G-2, or moderate storm, depending on how the charged particles from the sun hit Earth.

A statement on Space Weather said: “NOAA forecasters say there is a 55% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on March 15th when a stream of solar wind is expected to engulf our planet.

“The gaseous material is flowing from a wide gash in the sun’s atmosphere, now facing Earth.”

The solar storm will hit the northern hemisphere, which could lead to the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, being seen as far south as the upper reaches of Scotland.

But the consequences could be far more serious than the appearance of the Northern 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.

When magnetic field lines travel from the interior of the Sun to its surface, they usually remain inside our star.



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