The massive solar flare that came to impact the Earth today has been explained as a coronal mass ejection (CME).
First spotted on October 9, scientists are describing the solar flare as a phenomenon that occurs when an intense burst of radiation happens from the release of magnetic energy associated with sunspots. A NewsBreak report quoting NASA said that these geomagnetic storms are ranked from G1-G5, where one is the lowest and five the highest.
Solar flare could impact power grid operations
The solar flare that hit the Earth on October 9 could touch G2 intensity, considered fairly strong. That also means that the flare can impact the power grid and trigger fluctuations. There are also chances of voltage alarms happening in high-latitude power systems. As communication networks are also at the risk of being hit, billions of people could be affected.
Further, the report added that the solar flare impact could create problems for spacecraft, as satellite “orientation irregularities” and possible increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites are expected to occur. However, these are fears as of now, as no region has reported any such impact.
Though the solar storm was expected to happen between the late afternoon of October 11 and October 12, it came about early.
Northern Lights sightings expected
There had been speculations that the Northern Lights could also become visible as far south as New York and the north of the UK. But they haven’t yet shown up. The speculation is that when solar flare emits radio waves, it could trigger the Aurora to turn more robust and brighter. This is attributed to the possible disturbance to the Earth’s atmosphere.
The solar flare that has hit the Earth of late may not be the last one, and as we are at the beginning of a period of increased solar activity, the report pointed out. Going back in history, there have been many instances of solar flares landing on the Earth. The largest one happened way back in 1859, at Carrington.
The 1859 solar flare was so intense that it threw all telegraph communications into disarray. There have also been instances when telegraph pylons developed sparks and gave shocks to operators when the impact happened.