A huge solar storm could hit earth in just a matter of days according to scientists. Forecasters are bracing for a cloud of hot plasma and magnetic field from the Sun to reach our planet as soon as this weekend – and it has the potential to be disruptive.
What is a solar storm?
A solar storm is the term used for the atmospheric effects felt on earth when the sun emits a huge burst of energy.
According to the US Space Weather Prediction Center, the flare is coming from the Southern Hemisphere of the sun.
The SWPC explained: “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.
“These storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in the currents, plasmas, and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere.”
These bursts can send a stream of electrical charges and magnetic fields as far away as earth, travelling as fast as three million miles per hour.
How could a solar storm affect you?
When a solar storm reaches our planet, it can produce phenomena such as the Northern Lights, as well as disrupting satellites and sometimes electronic communications.
A solar storm can be as powerful as billions of nuclear bombs.
The upcoming flare, due to hit earth in a matter of days, is called a coronal mass ejection, which is a large expulsion of charged particles
When will the storm hit earth?
Astronomers at SpaceWeather.com have now warned yesterday’s CME could reach the planet by Saturday.
The website’s experts said: “Imagine a canyon 50,000 miles long with towering walls of red-hot plasma. Yesterday, there was one on the Sun.
“It formed when a filament of magnetism lifted off from the southern hemisphere.
“The erupting filament split the Sun’s atmosphere, carving out the canyon as it ascended.
“The glowing walls remained intact for more than six hours after the explosion.”