Eruptions from Sun to hit Earth on Feb 9-10, trigger geomagnetic storms, auroras

By | February 8, 2022

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona.

the fastest Earth-directed CMEs can reach our planet in as little as 15-18 hours. (Photo: Nasa)

Just a week after Earth was hit by a moderate geomagnetic storm, the Sun once again hurtled powerful eruptions towards the planet. As activities continue to rise on the solar surface, the Sun blasted off a filament eruption that will hit Earth on February 9-10, triggering another geomagnetic storm.

According to the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences under the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, the models indicate a very high probability of an Earth impact with the material whizzing past at a whopping speed of 21,60,000 kilometers per hour. “The impact is unlikely to be very hazardous. Moderate geomagnetic storms are likely,” CESS said in a tweet.

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are large expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona. They can eject billions of tons of coronal material traveling outward from the Sun at speeds ranging from slower than 250 kilometers per second (km/s) to as fast as near 3000 km/s. According to the US-based Space Weather Prediction Center under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the fastest Earth-directed CMEs can reach our planet in as little as 15-18 hours.

GEOMAGNETIC STORM LIKELY

According to spaceweather.com, the coronal mass ejection could trigger G1-class geomagnetic storms as the explosion peaked at category C3, which is considered to be weak. The explosion on the solar surface was observed for over three hours blasting off the material into the vacuum of space.

A geomagnetic storm is 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. If a CME collides with the Earth, it causes a geomagnetic storm.

A G1 class geomagnetic storm could cause a minor impact on satellite operations, power grids could suffer minor fluctuations and auroras will be visible in areas at high latitudes.

While the current space environment conditions are normal, the CESS predicted Chances of M/X class flares in the coming days.

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