Geomagnetic solar storm likely to hit Earth today, global power failure suspected
New Delhi : A massive solar storm is approaching Earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometres per hour and is expected to reach today; the phenomenon can lead to global power failure across the globe, according to a report by spaceweather.com.
The report mentioned that wind speeds could reach up to 500 km/s, triggering a geomagnetic storm and high latitude auroras.
"THE SOLAR WIND IS COMING: Later today, a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. Flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere, wind speeds could top 500 km/s. Full-fledged geomagnetic storms are unlikely, but lesser geomagnetic unrest could spark high latitude auroras," spaceweather.com informed.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reportedly classified the solar storm as G-1 or 'minor'.
It has also been mentioned that the solar flare is likely to hit satellites operating in the Earth's upper atmosphere, which might impact GPS navigation, mobile phone signals and satellite TV.
The flare also have a potential to impact several power grids across the world.
What is a geomagnetic storm?
A major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere, which occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth, is known as a geomagnetic storm. The storm is the result of major changes in the currents, plasmas produced by solar winds, as per the NOAA.
The most powerful geomagnetic storm ever recorded resulted in the 1859 Carrington Event, when telegraph lines electrified, zapping operators and setting offices ablaze in North America and Europe.