The Sun is back to its volatile best and it has led space experts to warn that a giant solar storm has been spewed out and it may be heading towards the Earth. This is expected to spark a dangerous geomagnetic storm on Earth. A major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere due to the efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth can cause a strong geomagnetic storm which has potential to disrupt satellites, power grids, internet, and more.
NASA says “Sunspots are areas that appear dark on the surface of the Sun. They appear dark because they are cooler than other parts of the Sun’s surface. The temperature of a sunspot is still very hot though—around 6,500 degrees Fahrenheit!” These sunspots are relatively cool because they form in areas where magnetic fields are particularly strong on the surface of the Sun. These strong magnetic fields keep some of the heat within the Sun from reaching the surface.
The Spaceweather.com report suggests that the current sunspot is so big that it is even changing the way the sun vibrates. The Space Weather Prediction Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that the geomagnetic field around Earth would be unsettled over the weekend which could disrupt the radio-magnetic sphere.
“A high speed stream of solar wind is approaching Earth. Estimated time of arrival: Aug. 9th. The gaseous material is flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras,” Spaceweather.com mentioned.
The Space Weather Physicist Dr. Tamitha Skov also tweeted to inform us about the expected aurora lights in the coming days. Her tweet reads, “My new #SpaceWeatherWoman forecast is up! Watch the massive prominence as it clings to life on the Sun’s east limb, learn about the underperforming big-flare player in Earth-view & see whether the coming fast #solar wind will bring us #aurora this week”
The higher northern latitudes could see dazzling auroras due to the solar storm, but it is still unclear whether it will turn into a massive geomagnetic storm or not.