A stream of charged solar particles will reach the planet already on Monday, August 29, as a result of which the Earth will be exposed to a geomagnetic storm for several days.
Experts who monitor space weather have already warned that another strong eruption should take place on the Sun this week. The M-class flare on the Sun occurred on Friday, August 26. A huge stream of plasma erupted from a sunspot called AR3089, which was pointed toward Earth. According to scientists’ forecasts, it will reach the Earth on Monday, August 29, and this will cause the appearance of a geomagnetic storm, writes Live Science.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft recorded an M-class flare on the Sun, and scientists believe that another series of similar flares on our star is expected in the coming days.
During the flare, there was a huge coronal mass ejection, which is a stream of plasma that escaped from the star and headed towards our planet. The eruption occurred in a sunspot called AR3089, which is one of six active spots on the Sun that produce flares of varying power.
As Focus has already written, scientists this week recorded the growth of the sunspot AR3085 on the Sun, which increased so much that it became similar in size to our planet. Experts in space weather predicted that strong flares on the Sun should not be expected until August 27. But these eruptions are incredibly difficult to predict, so it’s not surprising that the forecast for a new powerful flare was slightly off.
The Sun was predicted to have a C-class flare, which is not as strong as an M-class flare, although it can cause moderate geomagnetic storms on Earth. Scientists now predict that the stream of plasma that broke out, flying at a speed of millions of kilometers per hour, will reach the Earth on Monday, August 29. It is not known for sure how powerful the geomagnetic storm will be, which will be caused by the collision of these solar particles with our planet. It is expected to be a G2 or G3 storm.
This geomagnetic storm, as it often happens, can affect our planet for several days. In particular, the operation of GPS systems, radio communication and energy systems is under threat. Although, according to experts, disruptions in their work, if they occur, will be of a short-term nature.
One of the results of a geomagnetic storm will definitely be the appearance of very bright auroras both in the north and in the south of the planet. Focus has already written about the fact that NASA astronaut Robert Hynes was able to photograph the striking auroras from space.
His ISS colleague Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency also took some pictures of this amazing atmospheric phenomenon. According to her, during the entire time of her space career, she has not observed such strong auroras.
According to scientists, in a year and a half, the Sun will reach the peak of its activity within its 11-year solar cycle. Currently, spacecraft are recording the approach to this solar maximum, which is characterized by an increase in the number of flares on the Sun.
Focus also wrote in detail about what scientists have explained about whether we should be afraid of solar flares and streams of plasma flying towards the Earth. Scientists have told whether these space weather phenomena can destroy all life on the planet, if they have destructive power.