A Magnetic Storm Is About to Hit Us, but There’s No Need to Worry
Categorised as a G1 storm, this one won’t cause much disruption to our satellites.
The internet has been buzzing about a minor geomagnetic storm that is reportedly taking place on the weekend. Meteorologists have predicted that a low level storm, categorised to be a G1 (the lowest) level, will be affecting the Northern Hemisphere. Now while this magnetic storm is being heralded as massive, most space agencies state that the storm won’t be causing much disruption.
At most, it could manifest itself in our environment by causing fluctuations in weak power grids. The Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) states that it will have a minor impact on satellites in space.
A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm watch is now in effect for 14 and 15 March, 2018 UTC-days. The arrival of a co-rotating interaction region (CIR), followed by a recurrent, negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream (CH HSS) is expected to cause the escalated geomagnetic responses. Keep checking our SWPC webpage for the latest forecasts, warnings, and alerts.Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC)
An explosion in the sun's atmosphere (known as a solar flare), last week, has created the storm, due to which charged particles are making their way to earth. The arrival of these also coincides with the formation of "equinox cracks" in the Earth's magnetic field. The cracks usually form around the equinoxes on 20 March and 23 September every year. If a large-scale event does take place, it can wreck havoc on the earth’s telecommunications and satellites, and can also cause blackouts.
On a positive note, this magnetic storm will amplify the Earth's auroras and make them visible to regions that aren’t known to witness the scientific phenomenon.
Geomagnetic storms are rated on a scale of G1 to G5, with the latter being the most extreme.
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