A SOLAR storm hit Earth this weekend and caused a temporary disruption of the planet’s magnetosphere.
The storm was caused by an unexpected coronal mass ejection (CME) that became embedded in the solar wind, according to The Express.
A CME occurs when the Sun ejects a cloud of charged particles and electromagnetic fluctuations from its atmosphere.
They are one of the most powerful forms of a solar storm.
“A minor G1-class geomagnetic storm erupted around midnight (UT) on June 25-26,” according to Spaceweather.com experts.
“Forecasters don’t know why. The prime suspect is an unexpected CME embedded in the solar wind.
“So far, no aurora has been reported following the six-hour storm.”
Since the solar storm has been rated G1, it is minor and will cause only minor power grid fluctuations and minor impacts to satellite communications.
Space weather expert Dr. Tamitha Skov said on Twitter on Saturday: “A fast solar wind is hitting Earth!
“Expect unstable to stormy conditions for the next 48 to 72 hours.
“High latitude #aurora hunters should have good shows with sporadic mid-latitude views.
“Amateur radio operators are monitoring minor disturbances and auroral propagation over the #FieldDay weekend.”
When CME is directed towards Earth, it amplifies the Northern and Southern Lights.
These natural light shows are generated when particles from the solar wind excite atoms in Earth’s upper atmosphere, causing them to glow.
The resulting wavy patterns often resemble curtains of light usually in colors of green and pink, as you see in the Northern Lights.
Solar flares are another type of solar storm. “A solar flare is an intense burst of radiation, or light, on the Sun,” according to NASA.
“Solar flares are a sudden burst of energy caused by the entanglement, crossing, or rearrangement of magnetic field lines near sunspots.”
A huge sunspot was discovered last week on June 20.
“Today is huge. The fast-growing sunspot doubled in size in just 24 hours,” SpaceWeather.com reported.
“The explosive heat from a solar flare cannot reach our globe, but electromagnetic radiation and energetic particles certainly can,” NASA explained.
“Solar flares can temporarily alter the upper atmosphere by creating disruptions in a GPS satellite’s signal transmission to Earth, causing it to move several meters away.”