July 18, 2023 | 2:31 a.m
US authorities issued a minor geomagnetic storm watch for the planet as scientists noticed strong glows on the sun over the weekend.
The US Space Weather Forecasting Center said the storm could hit Tuesday when it issued its “G1” storm watch on Sunday.
A geomagnetic storm occurs when there is an exchange of energy from the solar wind in the space environment surrounding the Earth, which leads to disruption of its magnetosphere, According to the centerIt is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The administration said the storms can create beautiful aurorae but also have the potential to disrupt radio signals and navigation systems and create harmful currents caused by geomagnetism in the power grid and pipelines.
The center tracked two solar flares on Friday and Saturday, indicating that coronal mass ejections — large, cloud-like ejections of plasma and magnetic field from the sun’s corona — are expected to reach Earth by Tuesday.
The falling projectiles would then cause a geomagnetic storm, which is often experienced as a rapid decrease in the strength of the Earth’s magnetic field.
The magnetic energy typically lasts between six and 12 hours and can damage satellites and communication equipment, according to NASA.
Russian scientists also tracked solar flares over the weekend.
The Fedorov Institute of Applied Geophysics in Moscow said X-class flares – the largest explosions in solar systems – are possible. Class X flares can create long-lasting radiation storms.
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