A solar storm will hit the Earth this Saturday: what you should know

report from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns of a geomagnetic storm that will hit our planet on October 30.

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“Solar storm” is a phrase that, right off the bat, sounds like an irreversible threat to human existence. A warning issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (NOAA) regarding a solar storm that will impact the Earth on October 30 has aroused, at least, the curiosity of millions of people around the world. Do we really have to do something?

This report, issued on October 29, indicates that constant monitoring of a G3 Geomagnetic Storm begins, classified as “strong” on a scale of 1 to 5, and that it will have effects on our planet between October 30 and 31.

The report mentions that this impact could cause the aurora, the luminescent effect that occurs in the Nordic areas, to move to unusual places from where it can be seen.

“A G3 storm has the potential to push the aurora away from its normal polar residence, and if other factors come together, the aurora could be seen in the far northeast, upper Midwest, and Washington state,” says NOAA. in the post.

What is a geomagnetic storm?

These types of phenomena, frequently recorded by meteorological services and aerospace agencies, are alterations that are produced by an intense increase in the particles emitted in solar flares and that are capable of traveling at high speeds to be deflected by the magnetosphere, the magnetic field. that surrounds the planet.

In this case, the coronary mass ejection (CME) started from the Sun at a speed of 973 km per second, and it is estimated that it will reach our planet on Saturday 30, maintaining its effects until the 31st.

What problems does a solar storm cause?

The first problem associated with this type of phenomenon is the impact on navigation systems and telecommunications, because the satellites used for these processes are in space and exposed to solar storms like this one.

In cases like those registered, of medium magnitude, it can cause extreme radiation that damages astronaut teams with missions outside the International Space Station, for example.

In addition, satellite systems must enter “safe mode” to prevent this phenomenon from damaging electronic components vital to their operation and can reduce their useful life.

In our daily life, this event will generate luminescent effects in infrequent places, in addition to suffering some minor breakdown in telecommunications and more exposed systems.

A flare X1

Solar flares are classified in a letter system, with class C storms being relatively weak, class M more moderate, and class X the strongest.

The number accompanying the X identifies the intensity level of a flare. Flares that are rated X10 or stronger are considered unusually intense.

The NASA officials called solar eruption a ‘significant solar flare , “and added that he was captured on video in real time by the Solar Dynamics Observatory space agency. In this case we are talking about an X1.

This storm won’t be the last

As NOAA explains, less solar activity represents the end of a “solar cycle”, a change in the sun’s magnetic field that occurs every 11 years and that determines the displacement of its North and South Poles and the return to the initial position. .

These cycles have some indicators, such as the sunspots that are generated with the alteration of this magnetic field. The greater the number of sunspots, the more active the sun will have until it reaches “solar maximum”, the point in the cycle at which our Sun has the greatest number of spots.

NOAA notes that the lowest solar activity was recorded in December 2019, indicating that we are already entering a new solar cycle, so these types of events will be a little more frequent. However, the chances of a large-scale one occurring are very slim.