A solar storm, which registers “extreme” on forecasters’ scale, is barreling towards the Earth.
It is yet to be known when the highly-charged ejecta from a solar eruption, which took place on Wednesday, will strike the Earth.
Tom Berger, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, said, “There’s been a giant magnetic explosion on the sun.” “Because it’s pointed right at us, we’ll at least catch some of the cloud” of highly energized and magnetized plasma that can disrupt Earth’s magnetic sphere, which sometimes leads to temporary power grid problems.
Solar flares in the “extreme” scale can cause geomagnetic storms capable of bringing down power grids, damaging satellites and disrupting radio transmissions.
Sun flares, however, expand the colorful northern lights so people farther south can see them.
Forecasters with NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center said the flare already “caused impacts to high-frequency radio communications on Earth today,” according to NOAA. “A coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with this event is likely, but further analysis is necessary to determine whether it will produce geomagnetic storming on Earth.”
A coronal mass ejection contains billions of tons of energetic hydrogen and helium ions as well as protons and electrons ejected from the sun’s surface.