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Canyon of fire on Sun explodes: Geomagnetic storm to hit Earth today, tomorrow

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APRIL 6, 2022

Solar flare geomagnetic storm

With the solar cycle ramping up and the Sun is spitting out plasma in the vacuum of space, Earth is in the splash zone. The Space Weather Prediction Center under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) has predicted a solar radiation storm on Wednesday and Thursday as the Sun spits filaments of plasma from a canyon that opened up on the surface on Sunday.

The US-based space observer issued an alert for a minor geomagnetic storm in response to the anticipated arrival of the coronal mass ejection from the filament eruption that was centered near S22W30 on the Sun. The agency warned that there is a possibility of a Solar Radiation Storm occurring on Earth with proton levels exceeding the S1 (Minor) threshold.

The geomagnetic storm is likely to extend to April 7, which could lead to fluctuations in power grids along with a minor impact on satellites in the Low Earth Orbit and kickoff auroras at higher altitudes. The geomagnetic storm could lead to minor radio blackouts.

Geomagnetic storms are a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.

This is not the first time that a geomagnetic storm is set to hit Earth. (File Pic)

CANYON OF FIRE OPENS UP

The latest source of the eruption is a location dubbed the canyon of fire, which, according to Space Weather, is a dark filament of magnetism that has opened up in the sun’s atmosphere. The walls of the canyon are at least 20,000 km high and 10 times as long. Experts predict that fragments of the magnetic filaments may emerge from the blast site in the form of Earth-directed CMEs.

The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory captured an asymmetric full-halo CME emerging from the blast site, while the bulk of the CME will miss Earth, and some of it will hit. “A fraction of the storm cloud appears to be heading for Earth and could strike our planet’s magnetic field on April 5th or 6th. A glancing blow could spark a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm,” SpaceWeather said in its observation.

A similar eruption was observed on Monday. However, experts are not yet sure if the CME will hit Earth or not.

This is not the first time that a geomagnetic storm is set to hit Earth, the frequency of space weather events has increased as the Sun is now its new solar cycle ramping up activity. While the one projected to hit Earth is minor in nature, SpaceX Starlink satellites faced the brunt of a major hit earlier this year. 40 Starlink satellites were killed in space when a CME from the Sun struck Earth’s orbit.


Courtesy/Source: India Today

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