Giant solar storm hits Earth, which could cause unrest

Solar winds from sudden ‘valley of fire’ filaments are set to hit Earth, causing at least a weak G1 geomagnetic storm Thursday.

Sun-watchers spotted a cluster of solar filaments in early July, which later erupted, carving 238,880 miles and 12,400 miles deep on our nearest star, Space Weather reports. According to LiveScience, the canyon spews solar material directly onto Earth.

LiveScience explained that the solar filaments are arcs of electrified gas (also known as plasma) that travels along the Sun’s atmosphere, tracking the star’s magnetic field. The filaments fickle, shooting explosive jets of solar wind (coronal mass ejections) toward Earth as they collapse, the outlet continued.

LiveScience continued that the latest parcel of filaments is expected to hit Earth on July 21. The director went on to say that planets, like Earth, have strong magnetic fields that suck up solar debris, often resulting in geomagnetic storms. (Related: A ‘potentially dangerous’ asteroid has skipped Earth in the past)

LiveScience reports that highly energetic particle waves during storms compress our planet’s magnetic field slightly. The G1 magnetic storm expected on Thursday should be a weak storm, but it could still affect fluctuations in the power grids and satellites that control our mobile devices, LiveScience continued.

LiveScience reported in another article that intense geomagnetic storms have the potential to knock satellites out of the sky, just as one of them did in February to 40 different SpaceX devices. The outlet wrote at the time that they also had the ability to paralyze all online communication, something that scientists tried to please the public about in 2021.

Scientists believe the largest solar storm seen in modern history occurred in 1859, which released the same amount of energy as 10 billion 1-megaton atomic bombs and caused the aurora borealis (also known as the northern lights) as far as the Caribbean, LiveScience reports. The outlet, known as the “Carrington event,” noted that the storm shocked telegraph systems around the world.

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