Solar flare expected to hit Earth within days sparking power grid disruption after ‘canyon of fire’ burst from the Sun
SOURCE: The Sun
A SOLAR flare is expected to hit Earth within days and could spark magnetic storms and power grid disruptions. The potential for a solar storm comes after a recent eruption on the surface of the Sun that caused a “canyon of fire” to burst across the surface.
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The eruption that occurred on Friday is expected to send a storm of solar flares heading toward Earth. Scientists are predicting the solar flare could reach Earth’s magnetosphere around July 20, according to the experts at SpaceWeather.com. If a solar flare reaches Earth, it could trigger minor, but disruptive geomagnetic storms. A dark filament of magnetism whipped out of the sun’s atmosphere on July 16, Space Weather reported.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the solar eruption. The canyon which appeared in the sun was 155,000 miles long, and 15,500 miles deep, according to Space Weather. An arc of plasma filament of can be seen suspended above the surface of the canyon before it is flung out into space.
The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) observed a type of solar storm called a Coronal Mass Ejection, or CME, emerging from the sun’s northern hemisphere after the solar eruption. The difference between CMEs and solar flares is that CMEs travel slower than solar flares that could reach Earth in about eight minutes. The fastest CME would take 15 to 18 hours to hit Earth.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are currently modeling the CME to determine if it will hit Earth. Although the CME seems less threatening, there is a chance of solar flares from an occurrence that has happened today.
There are approximately six large sunspots on the sun. “At least two of them pose a threat for strong flares,” according to Space Weather. NASA explains this phenomenon: “The magnetic field lines near sunspots often tangle, cross, and reorganize. This can cause a sudden explosion of energy called a solar flare.”
NOAA forecasters estimate a 45 percent chance of M-class, medium-sized, flares and a 10 percent chance of X-class, large-sized, flares. If these flares are created, they are expected to erupt on Sunday.
X-class flares are more frightening because they can cause radio blackouts across Earth and long-lasting radiation storms.
M-class flares only cause short blackouts in the Earth’s North and South poles.