On Wednesday, a dense stream of solar winds enveloped the earth. This was states by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). However, the winds did not have a great impact. Also, it was not powerful in the space weather scale. Still, the few hours-long phenomena unsettled the earth’s magnetic field.
The Solar Winds- More Information
As per the NOAA reports, the solar storm passed the planet at 16:41 UTC (22:11 IST). This event occurred on Wednesday. It was measured 4 on the geomagnetic K-index. The K-index is an index used to distinguish the magnitude of geomagnetic storms. So, this phenomenon was a minor disturbance. Moreover, these solar winds were invisible to naked eyes. Also, they were harmless to those on the Earth’s surface. The solar wind speed was estimated to be around 600 Km/hr.
Impact Of the Solar Winds
Though the solar storm was near, it did not cause any major impact. However, it did cause weak fluctuations in the power grid. Some people even called it the reason for the auroras in the high altitudes of Alaska and Canada. However, no reports of these occurrences were made in the local US media. Additionally, reports also stated that it could have affected communication infrastructures and electricity supplies on Earth. If the solar wind would have been of greater magnitudes, they could also bathe airline crews with high radiations.
How Does It Occur?
When a space storm leaves the Sun, it passes through the corona (large bright patches) and into the solar wind. Upon reaching Earth, it energizes the planet’s magnetosphere. Thus, accelerating electrons and protons down to Earth’s magnetic field lines. These electrons and protons collide with the atmosphere and ionosphere, particularly at high latitudes. Thus, the alterations in geomagnetism could impact technology differently!
Previously, in 2017, a solar storm caused ham radios to turn static. This happened as Category 5 Hurricane Irma was ripping through the Caribbean. Also, in 2015, solar storms knocked out global positioning systems in the US Northeast. Similarly in March 1989, a solar storm over Quebec caused a province-wide outage. This power outage lasted nine hours.