An unexpected solar storm just struck Earth at 372 miles a second – HT Tech

Science

A solar storm hit Earth on August 7 at 372 miles (600 km) a second. Space weather experts rated the new solar storm as G2 class.

The Sun has been in an active state for 11 years of its solar cycle. The star has been erupting frequently and throwing solar storms towards Earth. Its most recently-caused solar storm has hit the Earth unexpectedly, but fortunately, without causing any damage, but it did spark stunning auroras across Canada and the UK. Though the pictures of the beautiful auroras had been taken all over the internet, space weather experts classified it as a G2 class solar storm. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), a G2-Class storm is a moderate one as the strength of G1 class storm is Minor while G5 class is said to be extreme. NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) observed solar winds heading to earth with low velocity on August 7, however, as the day passed, its speed increased significantly and went beyond 372 miles (600 km) a second.

While minor storms can cause weak power grid fluctuations, affect satellite operations, animals and interfere with satellite operations, moderate geomagnetic storms can give rise to voltage warnings in power systems at high latitudes. And if it lasts for a longer time it can damage transformers. There might not be complete radio blackouts, but these can disturb high-frequency radio communication at high latitudes.

As per SWPC, these storms occur as frequently as 600 times in a solar cycle that lasts 11 years.

Solar Storm is the phenomenon wherein disturbance on the Sun can emanate outward across the heliosphere affecting the entire Solar System, including Earth and its magnetosphere. It takes place when the Sun emits large bursts of energy outwards into space.

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