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Solar storm to hit earth: What you need to know

Varsha Vats
Varsha VatsAug 03, 2022 | 14:14

Solar storm to hit earth: What you need to know

A solar storm is likely to hit the earth today (August 3). The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had notified that the strom originating from the sun may affect the earth.

During the solar storm, high-speed solar winds may hit the earth due to coral holes. The storm is likely to trigger G-1 class geomagnetic storm. Coral holes are visible as dark patches on images when taken with the help of ultraviolet and X-ray.

The NOAA has also informed that the intensity of the storm will be weak but can result in power grid failures, disruptions in satellite signals and may also affect migration of animals.

NASA has also issued a warning that huge solar eruptions called coronal mass ejections will become more frequent now.

What is a solar storm? A solar storm occurs due to disturbance on the sun. This disturbance leads to massive explosion of plasma and other materials that affect the entire solar system including the earth. These explosions are also known as solar flares.

Solar storms are usually monitored with the help of x-rays and optical lights. 

The effect on earth: The effect of a solar storm depends on its intensity. Not all storms reach the earth’s surface. Usually these storms affect electronic communication on earth. Functioning of satellites is also disrupted.

Solar eruption captured by NASA's SDO on March 2, 2015. Photo: NASA

What is the frequency of solar storms? According to NASA, the sun goes through cycles of high to low activity in an 11-year activity. The frequency of solar flares depends on this 11-year cycle. During the peak time of the cycle, several solar storms can affect the earth every day.

As mentioned by NASA, we are about to approach the peak of sun’s 11-year activity cycle in 2025.

What is the duration of a solar storm? According to NASA, a solar storm lasts from a few minutes to several hours. But the effect of the storm remains around the earth’s surface for days or sometimes weeks.

Last updated: August 03, 2022 | 14:15
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