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24 May, 2022
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The Indian Express

Solar System Alert Issued For Earth? Here’s Why!

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and latest Science news, a large number of strong geomagnetic storms are reported to hit the Earth in few hours. This has resulted from the intense activity on the sun that was caused by two different ‘filament eruptions’, which are also known as coronal mass ejections. These ejections released powerful solar flare towards the planet earth. 

NOAA has stated that this solar storm comes in the G3 category, which is classified as a strong geomagnetic storm. Furthermore, the administration clarified that in the extreme scenario, this storm could cause issues like, interruption with the radio and navigation system, causing disturbance to satellites and humans who are currently in space. In addition, it could also cause disruption to migratory animals. NOAA also clarified that these solar storms could also cause extraordinary sights like the Northern Lights, as seen during the latest spike. 

What is a Geomagnetic Storm?

A geomagnetic storm is a chief disturbance of the Earth’s magnetosphere, which occurs as a result of very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment. This surrounds Earth, and thus, the geometrical disturbances are caused to the planet. Furthermore, these storms also result from the variations caused in the solar wind, which produces noticeable changes in the plasmas, currents, and fields on Earth. 

Is it happening for the first time?

People have already seen a G5 storm, where they saw how a radio blackout on the entire sunlit side of the Earth lasted for a number of hours. It resulted in no HF radio contact with the mariners and en-route aviators, which caused a panicking situation at that time. 

This canon of fire storm has already affected Earth before, notable in 1859. At that time, the storm was named as the ‘Carrington Event’. According to Dr. Tony Phillips, who runs Space Weather, Carrington Event was one of the largest geomagnetic storm on record. It caused a bright aurora across planet Earth, damaging the fairly limited electrical and communication lines during that time. Also, at the beginning of this year, Elon Musk’s Starlink project was also reportedly impacted by the geomagnetic storm. According to the reports, around 40 of its 49 satellites were destroyed as a consequence. These satellites were planned to provide uninterrupted internet coverage to most of the world.

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