The U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center releases a solar storm warning across the globe on Thursday, Mar. 10. The warning has been issued after the Sun ejected a huge plasma ball in the direction of Earth. This ball can cause one of the most powerful forms of solar storms called Coronal Mass Ejection (CME).
Coronal Mass Ejection causes warning on Earth
According to Express, the CME that passed near to Earth on Thursday was caused by an emerging “filament” of tangled magnetic fields on the Sun’s surface on Monday. The impending solar storm was predicted to cause a so-called G1 geomagnetic storm — the smallest — but the US Space Weather Prediction Center has not issued a G1 warning.
The Earth’s impact from the CME is likely to be limited. According to space weather specialists, a coronal mass ejection will travel near to Earth and may strike our planet’s magnetic field.
Aside from that, they have stated that aurora watchers in the Arctic should be on the lookout for a possible brightening of auroras when the CME arrives.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of which the Space Weather Prediction Centre is a part, classified geomagnetic storms using the five-point G-scale.
A G1 storm could have minor effects on satellite operations and cause slight variations in the electricity grid. G5 events, on the other hand, might have a significant influence on satellite operations, generate surges that knock out power systems, and impair high-frequency radio communications for days on end.
About the Coronal Mass Ejection
According to the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center, Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are big bursts of plasma and magnetic fields that come out of the Sun’s surface. Their magnetic field is more powerful than the background solar wind interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) strength.
There are many types of CMEs, but some of them are much more powerful than others. They usually start when magnetic field structures called flux ropes in the Sun’s lower corona become overstressed and realign into new positions called magnetic reconnection. The sudden release of electromagnetic energy, in the form of a solar flare, can happen as a result. This usually happens when plasma is pushed away from the Sun in a CME, which is also called a solar flare.
These types of CMEs usually happen in places on the Sun where there are strong and stressed magnetic fields, like the areas around sunspot groups. It can happen in places where relatively cool and dense plasma is held and suspended by the magnetic flux that goes up to the inner corona. These places are called “filaments” and “prospects.” When these flux ropes change shape, the dense filament or prominence can fall back to the surface of the sun and be quietly reabsorbed, or a CME may happen.
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