According to the Spaceweather resource, the plasma plume flies to Earth at a speed of more than 2 million km/h — its journey will take several days. Theoretically, this threatens the collapse of energy systems, interruptions in the work of satellites and radio communications. The cloud of “dark plasma” that escaped from the surface of the Sun last weekend will reach the surface of the Earth on Wednesday, August 17, and will probably cause a geomagnetic storm. This is reported by Newsweek.
The ejection of a large plasma cloud from the Sun’s outer atmosphere, or solar corona, is called a coronal mass ejection (CME). A cloud of solar gas charged with magnetic fields headed toward Earth on August 15 from a region of the sun’s surface known as AR 3076.
According to the Spaceweather resource, which monitors solar activity, the “dark plasma plume” is heading toward Earth at a speed of more than 2 million km/h. At this speed, the journey from the Sun to the Earth will take several days.
Coronal mass is ejected from regions of the Sun known as sunspots, but they can appear bright in some NASA images.
How will it affect people?
Some of these flares could theoretically affect life on Earth: it’s all about interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field. In a number of cases, this threatens with difficulties in the operation of energy systems, increased resistance of satellites. In some regions, you can observe the aurora borealis, and in those where it practically does not occur, for example, in Florida or in Georgia. The effect of the influence of the coronal mass on the Earth is called electromagnetic storms.
The press service of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a warning last Sunday, which says that a minor magnetic storm is expected on the planet. In other words, there may be slight voltage fluctuations in the power grid and some effect on the operation of satellites may be observed. In addition, some American states, such as Michigan and Maine, will be able to see the northern lights.
According to the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), this magnetic storm has been assigned a G1 category — meaning it is expected to be the least intense. There are five such classes in total.
But storms classified as G5 are potentially capable of completely disabling power systems, disrupting high-frequency radio communications for several days, and even causing aurora borealis in southern regions, where this phenomenon is only theoretically possible.