A massive solar storm that erupted on the Sun on March 16 could arrive on the Earth soon. Here’s what NASA and NOAA have predicted about it.
In this new 11-year cycle, the Sun just can’t seem to keep calm! The activity on the Sun is getting increasingly heated up resulting in repeated generation of solar storms that are hitting Earth regularly and fortunately, so far, causing no destruction. On March 16, yet another Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) has occurred. This massive eruption of energy has been sent hurtling out into space and anything that comes in front of it will feel its impact. In this case, it will be the Earth that will be hit by the resultant solar storm. These solar storms can be very destructive depending on their strength. Fortunately, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) keep a constant track of all such solar storms and that is the case with this latest one too. In fact, NASA a.nd NOAA have even predicted the time of arrival of the solar storm on Earth. Notably, most of the solar storm may pass close by Earth and only its fringes will hit our planet.
Weather forecaster Dr. Tamitha Skov has tweeted about the predicted arrival on Earth. Her tweet reads, “Gorgeous #solarstorm launches are getting more common! This one might be partly Earth-directed! Early NASA model runs are indicating it could graze Earth late on March 19 or early March 20. Waiting for more coronagraph observations to refine predictions.”
Solar Storm may hit the Earth SOON!
The arrival time for the solar storm has been predicted by NOAA and NASA, but there is a variation. According to the NOAA, the CME is expected to hit the Earth by the end of March 18 while believing the NASA data shared by Dr. Skov, it will reach between March 19 and March 20. Though, both the models have a time range of 7 hours. Together both the models suggest that it may hit the Earth anytime between March 18-20.
Impact of Solar Storm on Earth
Last week, we have already witnessed a number of dazzling auroras as a result of these solar storms hitting Earth. The current solar storm will probably just pass the Earth by, but it could disturb Earth’s magnetic field enough to produce a minor geomagnetic storm of G1-class. That simply means more auroras coming! Yes, these fascinating colour variations in the sky at the poles on Earth are the best effects. However, if a solar storm is big enough, it can destroy satellites up in the sky and the Internet and power grids down here on Earth!