Solar storm to STRIKE Earth today! NASA says beware; GPS and radio could go out

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NASA reported an M-class solar flare eruption on the Sun. It appears that the resultant solar storm will be hitting the Earth today, June 15. It can cause GPS and radio blackouts in some regions. Check details below.

A particularly long eruption of an M-class solar flare was observed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory by NASA yesterday, June 14. Immediately after the flare went off, the electromagnetic energy was released into space and its impact was felt on Earth in parts of Russia and Japan. As the energy was traveling at the speed of light, it reached earlier and caused minor damage to Earth’s radio communications. However, it is expected that today, June 15, the coronal mass ejection (CME) will send a large solar storm towards the planet. The delay between yesterday’s initial impact and today’s solar storm is due to the fact that CME carries larger charged solar particles and takes almost 24-48 hours to reach us. Concerningly, as it carries more electromagnetic energy, it also can potentially disrupt GPS signals and certain radio frequencies. Find out what to expect from this solar storm. Also read: NASA mission suffers shock failure! Astra rocket crashes, 2 satellites lost

The information regarding this solar storm comes from Dr. Tamitha Skov, a space weather physicist. Popularly known as the space weather woman, she took to Twitter to reveal the details around this upcoming solar storm. She said, “The NASA prediction shows a slightly faster #solarstorm hitting early June 15. If the storm hits early, it increases the chances for #aurora. #GPS users stay vigilant at high-latitudes & near dawn & dusk. Amateur #radio operators switch to lower frequencies once the storm hits”. Check the NASA prediction model below.

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Dangerous solar storm to approach the Earth on June 15

According to the prediction models by NASA, the solar storm is going to strike in the South-East direction from the north pole. As such, it can impact various regions of Europe and Asia are more likely to be affected by this compared to the American continent. Skov also warned users to be vigilant while using GPS at high-latitudes which means various navigation systems including airlines will be impacted. Ham radio will also be affected and users have been requested to use a lower band for the same. There is a possibility of an aurora display in the higher latitudes if the solar winds pick up the speed. Also read: ISRO – NASA Space Apps 2022 challenge is here; Check details, know how to participate

Solar storms have become frequent ever since the beginning of this year. It is due to the Sun moving in towards its solar maximum phase, which is a part of its 11 years long solar cycle. During solar maximum, the solar activities including random combustions, solar flare eruptions and incidents of solar prominence increases and it also poses a threat of very intense solar storms towards the Earth. The Sun is expected to reach its solar maximum in 2023.

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