It’s not enough that our planet must deal with climate change, and natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes, but now a sun storm is on its way. The sun will emit “gaseous material is [flowing] from a southern hole in the Sun’s atmosphere.” This will cause a geomagnetic storm that is going to strike the planet. The Sun contains holes in its outermost atmosphere. The solar material that escapes this part of the Sun’s atmosphere travels more than a million miles per hour. This breakneck speed allows the material to reach us.
Although the Sun storm flying at us sounds troublesome based on the amount of speed reported, the Earth is going to be able to absorb the solar material that is ejected from the Sun’s atmosphere. The magnetic pull that the Earth experiences will absorb the material with only some disturbance of electrons at our poles. The winds from these storms have reached the Earth before, and it causes some equipment to go a little crazy. Radio waves, low-frequency GPS devices, and minor satellite malfunctions will occur when the storm hits, but it does not sound as though it will cause some hugely harmful damage to the planet. A bonus to the storm hitting Earth is that it causes some light shows. The Northern Lights, for instance, are caused by this solar material colliding with our planet.
The sun storm is described as high-speed solar winds, which doesn’t make the occurrence sound any less frightening. However, scientists have determined that this particular storm is of the weaker variety. We won’t have much to worry about the planet being affected by winds coming at us at a million miles per hour. There have been instances where more extreme geomagnetic storms have struck Earth. If that were to happen this time, it would send satellites crashing into the planet. However, this storm is classified as G1, which sounds as mellow as it gets. As far as the Sun is from the Earth, researchers have determined that this storm will reach our planet in 15 to 18 hours’ time. It is said to be striking sometime today.
Back in February of this year, a powerful geomagnetic sun storm struck our space, leaving around 40 satellites plummeting towards the planet. Starlink satellites were the main ones affected by this storm. A rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX was carrying around 49 satellites, only to have most of those satellites destroyed a day later. That is some tough luck. The solar winds can crash into the planet and destroy plenty of computing systems, depending on how severe it is. The storm hitting the planet today is nowhere near as powerful as the one that happened in February.
Although a sun storm can be a damaging occurrence, scientists are usually on top of things in terms of measuring what is going to strike the planet. Thankfully, apart from some minor system malfunctions, we are not in any imminent danger. Although the consensus is that a giant meteor struck the Earth, causing the dinosaurs to go extinct, we wonder if they were actually hit from million miles per hour solar winds. That sounds like it could fry anything.