According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a high-speed solar storm is approaching Earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometres per hour (NASA). Today, the storm is projected to make landfall on Earth, affecting its magnetic field. This has the potential to disrupt global power supplies, phone signals, GPS, and other communication systems.
Scientists originally identified this solar outburst on July 3. The flare is emanating from a hole in the sun’s atmosphere near the equator. According to spaceweather.com, the flare has a maximum speed of 500 kilometres per second.
What are Solar Storms
According to scientists, full-fledged geomagnetic storms (which are associated with the Earth’s magnetic fields) are improbable. However, less severe geomagnetic disturbances can result in auroras at high latitudes.
The oncoming flares may possibly have an effect on Earth’s upper atmosphere-bound satellites. This can have a negative impact on satellite television, GPS navigation, power grids, and cell phone communications.
According to the latest forecast from the United States’ Space Weather Prediction Center, the storm could potentially result in a widespread blackout of high-frequency radio transmission. This may last an hour or more. Solar flares are classified as X1 by the Center. In this case, “X” denotes “classification” and “1” denotes “flare strength.”
What are Solar flares ?
Solar flares are powerful eruptions on the sun’s surface. Flares discharge enormous amounts of energy, light, and high-velocity particles into space. According to NASA, the most powerful flares are referred to as “x-class flares,” which are based on a classification system that categorizes solar flares based on their severity.
The tiniest flares are classified as A-class. As the intensity of the flare grows, it is designated as a B, C, M, or X flare. Today’s solar flare is expected to be of the X class.
Impacts of Solar Storm on Humans
During solar storms, people are exposed to radiations, which can induce radiation sickness, organ damage, and cancer.
Experts claim that ground-level humans face no considerable risk from solar flares. The Earth’s atmosphere works as a protective screen for all living things, reducing much of the harmful radiation that would otherwise be harmful.
A solar storm may pose certain dangers for passengers on a plane, but not all. The research indicates that pilots are at a higher risk of cataracts. Inbound and outbound passengers and employees can be exposed to significant radiation. Sometimes aeroplanes are diverted so as to protect crew members from exposure to radiation caused by solar storms.
Further away from Earth, astronauts are more vulnerable than those on the surface.
While the majority of sources advise one not to worry too much about solar storms having harmful effects on human health, others believe they are completely innocuous. According to a study done by researchers at the University of New Hampshire, solar storms, which interact with the autonomic nervous system, have the potential to trigger a chain reaction of physiological responses in the body, resulting in death of organs.
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