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G1 Class Solar storm could glance Earth tomorrow or on May 13

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Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

A G1 class geomagnetic storm voyaging at more than 1.3 million kilometeres per hour may strike Earth tomorrow, and scientists warn it could disturb our satellite.

An “erupting filament of magnetism” was thrown into the solar system by the Sun at 328 kilometres per second, and it may collide with Earth.

The solar storm was caused by a vortex of magnetism below the surface of the Sun, known as a sunspot.

Sunspots are dark spots on the Sun that are generally colder than the rest of the star.

When experts say they are colder, the average temperature of a sunspot still exceeds 3,500 degrees Celsius – although this is a drop from the average Sun surface of 5,500C.

They are typically cooler as sunspots are areas of strong magnetic fields.

The magnetism is so strong that it actually keeps some of the heat from escaping.

However, as the magnetic field builds, it increases pressure in the sunspot which can erupt as a solar flare or coronal mass ejection (CME).

The incoming CME could hit Earth tomorrow, or on May 13.

When it does, it could lead to issues for technology that relies on satellites.

Space enthusiasts have said it could spark a G1 class geomagnetic storm.

A solar storm of this power can lead to “weak power grid fluctuations” and can have a “minor impact on satellite operations”.

This is because, as particles bombard Earth’s magnetic shield, it causes it to expand which makes it harder for satellite signals to penetrate.

Astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on his Space Weather site:

A CME is coming. Hurled toward Earth by an erupting filament of magnetism on May 9, the solar storm cloud is expected to arrive on May 12 or 13.

This is not an especially fast or powerful CME, but it could spark G1-class geomagnetic storms and auroras at high latitudes.

While this solar storm is largely insignificant, some experts have warned a major solar storm is a matter of “when not if”.

Every so often, the Sun releases a solar flare which in turn blasts energy into space.

Some of these solar flares can hit Earth, and for the most part, are harmless to our planet.

However, the Sun can also release solar flares so powerful that they can cripple Earth’s technology.

Previous studies have revealed the Sun releases an extreme solar flare every 25 years on average, with the last Earth-hitting one coming in 1989.

This storm saw power outages in Quebec, Canada, as conducting rocks on Earth can carry the excess energy from the magnetic shield and plough it into the national grid.

While it is impossible to predict when and where a huge solar storm might hit, it is inevitable one will hit the planet in the future.

Risk consultancy firm Drayton Tyler said:

A solar superstorm is a ‘when, not if’ event.

In the worst case, the direct and indirect costs are likely to run into trillions of dollars with a recovery time of years rather than months.

The probability of an event of that size happening is estimated by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering as one in 10 in any decade.

Image Credit: Getty

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