A solar storm is heading towards Earth, and the pictures are sublime

This event does not present any significant risks, but the aurora borealis may be accompanied by some radio and GPS disturbances.

Astronomers watching the Sun closely have just announced that space weather could turn into a storm. Specialists announced that the coronal mass ejection, ejected by the star on July 15, is heading straight to Earth at this very moment; It can disrupt radio waves and the GPS network when it hits Earth’s magnetic field on July 20 or 21.

The Sun is currently approaching the peak of its 11-year cycle. The magnetic field of the star becomes more and more turbulent, which leads to the appearance of a large number of sunspots.

We can also see emerging solar filaments; They are unstable clusters of matter trapped in a plasma form by magnetic field. It is these amazing swirls that can sometimes be seen protruding on the edge of the star in certain images.

But if they delight astrophotographers, they can also be associated with solar flares and cause coronal mass ejections. The latter are large bubbles of plasma blasted off in a certain direction by the star’s activity, and that’s exactly what happened on June 10.

Fortunately, astrophotographer Miguel Claro was also in the ranks at this exact moment. He was able to take exceptional pictures of this phenomenon of Dantesque dimensions. You can find his wonderful work and even order a reproduction personal site.

Some potential disturbances, but no major risks

Since then, this mass is transmitted directly to Earth. Its speed is moderate, but it can still have a huge impact on our planet. Specialists believe that it could generate a G1-class geomagnetic storm.

This means that it is a minor rash, but it may have some noticeable consequences. You should start with the stunning aurora borealis visible at high latitudes. But some disturbing phenomena may also occur.

According to the official definition, these events can cause “small fluctuations in the electrical network”. It can also have a “slight effect on the operation of satellites”. Some areas may also experience interference from radio signals. The GPS network is likely to experience some minor malfunctions during this period.

Thus, mankind can generally rest; There is no danger that this coronal mass ejection will sound the death knell for civilization as we know it. But without succumbing to disaster, we must also remember that this is a very real and not insignificant possibility. Just think of the Carrington event to be convinced (see our article).

Unfortunately, at the moment, there are still no absolute countermeasures to defend against these events. While waiting for specialists to find a solution, humanity remains suspended by the vagaries of the sun.

All that remains is to cross our fingers so that the sword of Damocles does not move an inch, and the sun remains wise as we approach the projected peak of activity in 2025.

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