Solar Storm Hits Earth – Radio Blackout, Aurora Displays, and Potential Impact

Solar Storm Hits Earth – Radio Blackout, Aurora Displays, and Potential Impact

Over the weekend, the sun unleashed two solar flares, leading to a series of events that include a radio blackout over the Pacific Ocean.

As Earth experiences the impact of these solar storms, scientists predict various consequences, from radio disruptions to the mesmerizing display of auroras in multiple U.S. states.

Radio Blackout Over the Pacific:

On Monday afternoon, a radio blackout was detected over the Pacific Ocean following the anticipated arrival of a solar storm on Earth.

The incident occurred around 4:20 pm ET off the western U.S. and South America coasts, lasting only a few seconds.

The powerful stream of energized particles also affected the poles, resulting in a seven-hour outage.

The NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) warned of a 60 percent chance of the storm disrupting the power grid.

Upcoming Solar Storm and Auroras:

Another solar storm is expected to impact Earth, potentially affecting radios, aviation communication, and degrading satellite operations.

Despite the challenges posed by these solar events, they are anticipated to create stunning auroras visible as far south as northern Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Physicist Tamitha Skov emphasizes the increasing risk of radio blackouts.

Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs):

Two active sunspots, numbered 3559 and 3555, released coronal mass ejections (CMEs) just one day apart.

CMEs involve the ejection of billions of tons of corona material, comprising plasma and magnetic fields, from the Sun’s surface.

While such eruptions can interfere with satellites and power grids, the current storms are not expected to have a severe impact on critical infrastructure.

Solar Storm Severity and Impact on Earth:

NOAA uses the S-scale to indicate the severity of solar radiation storms.

The likelihood of a solar radiation storm increased from 10 percent to 55 percent following the CME striking Earth.

SWPC reassures the general public that there is no need for concern, emphasizing that the solar storms will bring northern lights to several U.S. states.

Geomagnetic Storm Warning:

SWPC has issued an official warning about a geomagnetic storm striking Earth, predicted to be a G2 event, deemed moderate on their scale.

The potential impacts include voltage corrections, false alarms triggering devices, and interference with satellites and spacecraft in orbit.

The alert also mentions potential impacts on HF radios in higher latitudes.

Conclusion:

The report provides valuable insights into the recent solar activities impacting Earth.

While the solar storms present challenges such as radio blackouts and potential disruptions, the awe-inspiring auroras and the limited severity of the storms offer a silver lining.

The commentary aims to contextualize the scientific information, making it accessible to a broader audience and highlighting the delicate balance between solar events and their effects on our technological infrastructure.

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