As we earthlings go about our days with nothing out of the ordinary happening to hinder our routines, the circumstances at the very heart of our solar system — over 150 million kilometres away — are not quite the same.
The Sun is nearing the solar maxima, which marks the period of the greatest solar activity during its 11-year solar cycle. And it’s undergoing an especially temperamental phase of late, showing its displeasure by firing coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and whatnot. Just last week, a CME narrowly missed Earth and ignited a pair of geomagnetic storms with auroras.
Presently, the Sun’s atmosphere sports a hole that has been likened to the Cyclops from the X-Men universe, who could shoot powerful beams of energy with his eyes. And it is from this hole that gaseous material is escaping the solar atmosphere, spaceweather.com reported.
Now, NOAA has predicted that the stream of solar wind blowing towards the Earth’s magnetic field will result in a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm, which is expected to hit our planet on Wednesday, July 6.
Fortunately, G1-class storms are relatively weak and do not disrupt GPS systems much. However, they may result in weak power grid fluctuations, minor impacts on satellite operation and unusually large auroras. Furthermore, they could also throw into disarray the navigational abilities of some migrating animals.
Meanwhile, as solar storms get increasingly frequent, space weather scientists are scrambling to find ways to strengthen the Earth’s defences against the volatile solar weather, as a powerful flare could wreak havoc on our planet.
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