A GEOMAGNETIC storm may strike Earth today, experts have warned. On July 8, a stream of solar wind is expected to pass through Earth’s mag
A GEOMAGNETIC storm may strike Earth today, experts have warned.
On July 8, a stream of solar wind is expected to pass through Earth’s magnetic field, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) said.
A Geomagnetic storm may strike Earth today, experts have warned.[/caption]
This, in turn, will fuel a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm.
Geomagnetic storms are defined as “a disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth,” per NOAA.
The storm is forming from solar winds entering through a ‘crack’ in the Earth’s magnetosphere, SpaceWeather researchers explained in a post.
The crack stayed open for nearly 14 hours. and “solar wind poured through the gap,” the experts said.
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How does a ‘crack’ form in Earth’s magnetosphere?
The crack was opened by a “co-rotating interaction region” (CIR).
CIRs are transition zones between fast and slow-moving streams of solar wind.
They contain shock waves that can result in a geomagnetic storm.
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NOAA analysts also believe that a CME might have been embedded in the solar wind prior to it entering the CIR, per SpaceWeather.
What’s a CME?
A coronal mass ejection or CME is a type of solar flare that occurs when the Sun deposits a cloud of charged particles from its atmosphere.
It’s basically a huge expulsion of plasma from the Sun’s outer layer, called the corona.
When solar flares hit Earth’s magnetic field, they can cause geomagnetic storms that affect our satellites and the power grid.
What can this geomagnetic storm do?
This geomagnetic storm won’t harm humans but could cause radio blackouts and minor disruptions to satellite operations.
Some geomagnetic storms can also pose a threat to astronauts on the ISS.
Sometimes a geomagnetic storm can cause the Northern Lights to dance in the sky.
What are the Northern Lights?
Aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is the result of electrically charged particles from the sun, smashing into gaseous particles in our planet’s atmosphere.
Solar storms cause bright, colorful dancing lights in white, green, pink and purple that illuminate the sky and are considered an incredible sight.
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Color variations occur when different types of gas particles collide with the charged particles.
The most common color of the aurora is green, which is created when oxygen molecules about 60 miles above the ground react with the particles, whereas nitrogen causes a blue or purple hue.