Facts About the Solar Storm -- Massive Radiation Blasting the Earth
A geomagnetic storm or "solar storm" was detected by SpaceWeatherLive on Monday.
According to its website, the solar storm was brought upon by a gigantic coronal hole that has become bigger and bigger for the past weeks.
NASA defines coronal hole as a region on the sun where the magnetic field is open to interplanetary space. Meaning unlike the other surfaces of the sun, its magnetic field is open, thus it stretches out into space.
Because the recently observed coronal hole was facing the earth, the solar storm was directed towards us.
Here are some interesting facts about solar storm:
What is a solar storm?
CNN notes Solar storm is composed of plasma, electrons, protons and big solar wind coming out of the coronal hole. Most coronal mass ejections are not aimed toward the earth; some goes harmlessly into other parts of the solar system.
It is not directly dangerous to humans.
Earth Sky said solar storms are not dangerous to humans as long as we remain on earth's surface where we are protected by the atmosphere and magnetosphere. It is particularly dangerous to astronauts in space, especially when they are not wearing their protective gears as the large doses of radiation emitted by the coronal hole may result to poisoning.
Power outage and signal disruptions
Meanwhile, while it is not directly harmful to humans, it may disrupt technology. Express notes that it may leave us without mobile phones, satellite TV and even electricity because the radiation may expand the atmosphere which can affect satellites in orbit.
In addition, higher currents in magnetosphere can result to exploding electrical transformers and power stations.
Has it occurred before?
Space.com notes that one of the most notable solar storm occurred in 1859, when particles from the coronal hole overloaded telegraph wires, setting paper messages on fire.
Good side of the solar storm
During this event, the chance of seeing Aurora displays increases as the winds become stronger and geomagnetic activity is amplified.