There is an upcoming solar storm expected this weekend. Researchers have noticed a sunspot that will bombard the Earth with solar particles on Monday.
Sunspots are patches of darkness on the Sun which are caused by an underlying magnetism beneath the surface. A solar storm occurs when that magnetism bubbles up and is released in the form of solar flares, which spew cosmic particles into space. Earth is in the path of these particles, so we can expect an exceptional aural display at the poles soon!
Auroras are caused when solar particles hit the atmosphere. These include the northern lights, or aurora borealis and southern lights, or aurora australis. Both are expected to put on incredible shows thanks to this solar storm. The light show will appear when the magnetosphere gets bombarded by solar winds and that layer of the atmosphere deflects the particles.
According to the Express, a cosmic forecasting website called Space Weather said: “A minor hole in the sun’s atmosphere is turning toward Earth and spewing a stream of solar wind in our direction. The estimated time of arrival is April 22nd. Geomagnetic unrest and polar auroras are possible when the gaseous material arrives.”
Solar particles have been responsible for power grid failures and disruption in communications systems on Earth when they’ve been strong enough. A surge of particles can lead to high currents in the magnetosphere, which can cause a higher than normal level of electricity in power lines. The results could be devastating, especially considering Earth’s magnetic field is weakening. Eventually, as a solar storm could cause electrical transformers and power stations blowouts and a loss of power. Solar storms can also affect satellites in orbit, potentially leading to a lack of GPS navigation, mobile phone signals, and satellite TV.
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