Solar storms regularly hit the Earth, but they often do not pose a threat. The problem with the recently arrived solar wind, however, is that it caught the experts completely off guard. How did such a large current escape the attention of the instruments?
Solar wind occurs when high-energy particles can no longer be held back by the Sun’s gravity, so they burst towards the Earth. Much is still unknown about this phenomenon, but many experts believe that these emissions originate from large bright spots on the Sun called coronal holes.
By observing these, they are now able to make accurate predictions about solar flares, so they can tell when and how much energy impacts may hit our planet. They have no impact on human life, so there is no need to fear them. Of course, this does not mean that they are completely imperceptible.
In addition to the playful appearance of the aurora, solar storms can affect our technologies and cause problems in telecommunications satellites and, in extreme cases, even power grids.
Despite the predictions, there are cases that surprise experts. Such was the wind on August 7. The cause of that storm is still unknown, but some speculate that a strong wind may have arrived from an equatorial hole in the Sun’s atmosphere two days earlier than predicted.
A little interesting video about what a solar storm can sound like:
These winds were classified as moderate G2 solar storms. On this scale, observations are classified from G1 — this includes the weakest storms — to G5. The current one has been placed in the second group because it can already affect large-width power supply systems and influence spacecraft trajectory predictions.
A ScienceAlert article according to the effects are still continuously affecting the Earth’s magnetic field. According to records, the solar wind reached 551.3 kilometers per second on August 9.