Bharat Express

Powerful Solar Storm Strikes Earth, Potentially Disrupting Power Grids And Communication

A solar storm, the first in over two decades, caused celestial light shows and risked satellite and power system outages due to coronal mass ejections from a larger sunspot cluster

solar storm

The most powerful solar storm in more than two decades slammed Earth on Friday, causing dazzling celestial light shows from Tasmania to Britain and risking satellite and power system outages as it continues into the weekend.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Centre, the first of many coronal mass ejections (CMEs), expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun, occurred shortly after 1600 GMT.

It was eventually elevated to an extreme geomagnetic storm, the first since the so-called ‘Halloween Storms’ in October 2003, which caused blackouts in Sweden and damaged electricity infrastructure in South Africa. More CMEs are predicted to hit the earth in the coming days.

Authorities advised satellite providers, airlines, and the power grid to take precautions against potential disruptions caused by changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

Unlike solar flares, which move at the speed of light and reach Earth in approximately eight minutes, CMEs travel at a slower rate, with officials estimating the current average at 800 kilometres (500 miles) per second.

They came from a huge sunspot cluster that is 17 times larger than our globe. The Sun is nearing the apex of an 11-year cycle that causes increased activity.

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