Home Science Solar storm incoming and it could lead to satellite technology issues

Solar storm incoming and it could lead to satellite technology issues


Astronomers are forecasting that a “stream of high speed particles” are on their way to Earth. The particles were released by a hole in the Sun’s southern hemisphere and they are travelling at a staggering 600 kilometres per second, or 2.1 million kilometres per hour. The particles are currently voyaging through the solar system and will hit Earth on March 20.

When they do, researchers believe it could cause problems for satellite technology.

It has been categorised as a G1 class storm which can lead to “weak power grid fluctuations” and can have a “minor impact on satellite operations”.

Astronomy site Space Weather said: “NOAA forecasters say that a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm is likely on March 20th when a stream of high-speed solar wind hits Earth’s magnetic field.

“The gaseous material is flowing faster than 600 km/s from a southern hole in the sun’s atmosphere.”

Some experts have warned that a major solar storm is a matter of “when, not if”.

Every so often, the Sun releases a solar flare which in turn blasts energy into space.

Some of these solar flares can hit Earth, and for the most part, are harmless to our planet.

However, the Sun can also release solar flares so powerful that they can cripple Earth’s technology.

READ MORE: Solar winds forecast to hit Earth after hole opens in the Sun’s corona

As such, experts have bemoaned the lack of preparation for an extreme space weather event, warning that it could cost trillions and cause widespread panic.

Risk consultancy firm Drayton Tyler said: “A solar superstorm is a ‘when, not if’ event.

“In the worst case, the direct and indirect costs are likely to run into trillions of dollars with a recovery time of years rather than months.

“The probability of an event of that size happening is estimated by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering as one in 10 in any decade.”


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