Solar storm could hit Earth this week


'The largest storms that result from these conditions are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) where a billion tons or so of plasma from the sun, with its embedded magnetic field, arrives at Earth'.

One major solar storm, now called the Carrington Event, struck the planet in 1859 and reportedly knocked out telegraph systems all around the world.

The impending storm will barely reach the threshold of a G1, Newsweek reported.

NOAA says the incoming solar storm is expected to be a G-1 "minor" storm. However, a top official at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a statement earlier this week, in hopes of allaying potential concerns about the supposed event. Although a geomagnetic storm is coming to the northern hemisphere, it sounds like a pretty mild one. As Newsweek further noted, his comments came shortly after most publications who wrote on Monday about the purported storm had apparently misinterpreted a chart from the Lebedev Institute in Russian Federation that suggested the likelihood of increased geomagnetic activity on March 18, but nothing hinting at a major storm.

A major explosion in the sun's atmosphere known as a flare, which took place on March 6 and 7, triggered the solar storm. The G1 a very weak storm, while the G5 is used when a severe geomagnetic storm hits the Earth. The category rises from G1 to G5 with the increase in the intensity of the geomagnetic storms. If the charged particles have a stronger effect on Earth, it could be considered a G-2 "moderate storm".

The dancing lights of the aurora may become visible in parts of Scotland and northern England and in northern regions of the USA, including in MI and Maine. The storm could result in blackouts and jeopardize communication satellites, and thus all telecommunication on Earth.

The strongest flares though can have an impact across the whole planet, triggering widespread radio blackouts and long-lasting storms - affecting Global Positioning System signals, radio communications and power grids.

Information on the internet is, unfortunately, often easy to manipulate, but there is really nothing to worry about when it comes to the geomagnetic storm on March 18.

In March 1989, a powerful geomagnetic storm set off a blackout in Canada that left six million people without electricity for nine hours. But the incoming storm is said to be minor, even though it may create an impressive display of the Northern Lights.