Despite being only two months into the new year, Earth has already experienced various natural phenomena that have caused significant damage. NOAA forecasters expect dangerous M-class and X-class solar flares to erupt from the Sun today. Moreover, places such as Turkey have been hit by devastating earthquakes, resulting in a massive loss of life and widespread destruction. There has been a high level of solar activity, including solar storms, solar flares, CMEs, and other phenomena due to the incoming peak of the solar cycle.
NOAA forecasters have now revealed that solar winds have emanated from the Sun and are being hurled towards Earth rapidly. According to a spaceweather.com report, these winds could impact the planet on February 26-27 and are gushing out from a coronal hole in the Sun’s atmosphere. The report stated, “A stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. ETA: Feb. 26-27. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere.”
When the solar winds impact, they could spark a G1-class Geomagnetic storm soon after, as per the report.
Dangers of Geomagnetic Storm
When the Geomagnetic storm hits Earth, the magnetic field lines of the Earth temporarily get disturbed, and it releases extremely high magnetic energy. The energy and heat are enough to ionize oxygen present in the upper atmosphere and turn it into blue-green hues of light, which we know as auroras. Moreover, Geomagnetic storms can disturb, or even destroy, GPS, radio communications, mobile phone connectivity, satellites and even the Internet. Also, they can create harmful geomagnetic induced currents (GICs) in the electricity grids.
NASA mission to study solar activity
For better understanding of the rising solar activity, NASA has a mission in place. NASA’s SunRISE mission is an upcoming mission expected to launch in 2024 to study and pinpoint how giant bursts of energetic particles originate from the Sun and evolve as they expand outward into space.