A coronal mass ejection from the Sun is expected to strike Earth on Thursday as it travels through the inner planets at a speed of 3.6 million kilometers per hour (kmph).
As the plasma collides with the Earth’s strong magnetic field, it is anticipated to produce a G3-class geomagnetic storm and bright auroras.
The impact of a CME on Earth depends on a number of factors, including the CME’s speed and trajectory, as well as the magnetic fields’ intensity and orientation. If the CME is directed toward Earth and its magnetic fields are aligned with those of Earth, the impact could be more severe
Magnetic fields of the CME interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce geomagnetic disturbances. When these magnetic fields collide, they can create electrical currents in the ionosphere and on the surface of the Earth.
These electrical currents can interfere with satellite communications and power systems, as well as produce auroras in polar regions.
The Sun’s late-May 9 plasma outburst aimed towards Earth.
The Space Weather Prediction Center in the United States forecasted a significant geomagnetic storm for the day. “Surface charging may occur on satellite components, drag may increase on satellites in low-Earth orbit, and orientation problems may require corrections,” the center predicted.
The plasma has been striking Earth for the past two days at velocities approaching the speed of light, and the geomagnetic storm could be initiated tonight at 11:30 p.m. The agency added that the intense geomagnetic storm may cause intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation issues.
The Sun’s activity has been increasing rapidly as the star in our solar system approaches its peak. Approximately every 11 years, the Sun endures a natural cycle of magnetic activity known as the solar cycle. This cycle has significant effects on space weather, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections.
During the solar maximum, the Sun’s magnetic field is at its most active, causing a rise in sunspots on its surface.