Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Solar storm forecast for Earth

Solar storm forecast for Earth

But the panic created by earlier reports of a "massive magnetic storm" has raised questions about what it is, how is it caused and the threat from such a storm. But no, there is no massive solar storm on March 18 that could affect power grids and electrical systems and interfere with Earth's magnetosphere.

The storm could also knockout satellites and was created last week by an enormous explosion in the sun's atmosphere known as a solar flare.

Bureau of Meteorology's space weather services has issued a "geomagnetic disturbance warning" for today until Friday. As Newsweek further noted, his comments came shortly after most publications who wrote on Monday about the purported storm had apparently misinterpreted a chart from the Lebedev Institute in Russian Federation that suggested the likelihood of increased geomagnetic activity on March 18, but nothing hinting at a major storm.

How is a magnetic storm caused?

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Usually, geomagnetic storms are cataloged in 5 different main levels depending on the magnitude, from G1 to G5 levels of geomagnetic storms' magnitudes. The category rises from G1 to G5 with the increase in the intensity of the geomagnetic storms. "G-1 is the lowest of our geomagnetic storm scale - that comes with, frequently, no effect".

They have been fairly common as of late, with the March 18 storm being the third already in 2018, but some are larger than others.

In the past, large-scale geomagnetic events have disrupted communication satellites and caused blackouts. The publication cited two separate examples from the website, starting with 1859's so-called "Carrington Event", where Northern Lights were visible even in Cuba and Hawaii, and several telegraph operators fell victim to electric shocks from telegraph lines, with their papers also catching fire as a result of the storm. A similar geomagnetic storm happened in 1989 which caused a 9-hour blackout in Canada. Solar flares can cause space weather, which can disrupt telecommunications and power grids on Earth. People are advised to take bottles of water, gas filled in car's tanks, important documents at hand, food supplies, etc in such cases.

The coronal hole is the scientific term for solar storm, reports. The upcoming storm will put quite a show for stargazers around the world who can assemble at a flawless spot to watch the auroral lights and other natural phenomena that follows.

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