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Big Solar Storm to hit Earth today: May cause radio & GPS blackouts

Big Solar Storm to hit Earth today: May cause radio & GPS blackouts

By Sanjay Maurya

According to predictions by NASA scientists, a solar storm is very likely to hit Earth on Tuesday, July 19, which could disrupt GPS and radio signals. The impact of a “snake-like filament” would be a “direct hit” from the Sun, according to Dr. Tamitha Skov, adding that we “should expect signal disruption on Earth’s night”.

It’s also possible that Auroras may be visible in certain regions of Earth, according to the Independent (newspaper) reports. However, it is possible that a storm may occur later this week. According to Spaceweather, a G1-class storm – which is “minor” but could affect satellite operations – could strike Earth on July 20 or 21.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) even issued an alert about the solar flare that had burst from the Sun on June 14. According to a space expert, today, July 19, the solar flare could result in a radio blackout. It is important to note that such solar storms do not cause any major harm. Only a few solar flares reach Earth, but not all. Flares that reach the Earth can impact its upper atmosphere.

Solar Storm

A spot on the surface of the Sun appears to be black. Electrically charged gases produce magnetic forces called ‘magnetic fields’. Solar storms are caused by these magnetic fields. A solar storm is a sudden burst of energy caused by the magnetic force associated with the Sun’s spots. Solar storms can be of varying intensity, some causing radio and server blackouts while others may go unnoticed. The recent solar storm is a powerful storm that could cause a blackout within the next 24 to 48 hours.

History-
1989 – in March of 1989, a solar storm disrupted Hydro-Québec’s electricity transmission system in Canada, resulting in a twelve-hour blackout. In space, some satellites went out of control for several hours.

2006 – most recently, another major X-class solar flare was ejected from the Sun on December 5, 2006. It was recorded as extreme at X9 on the Space Weather Scale. According to NASA, it “interrupted satellite-to-ground communications and Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation signals for approximately 10 minutes.” The flare was also powerful enough to damage the Solar X-ray Imager instrument on the GOES 13 satellite, which photographed it.

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