Today: Solar Storm Threatens Earth After Sun Forms Coronal Hole

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Strong solar winds will hit the planet today after a coronal hole opened up on the Sun, allowing the gaseous material to reach toward the rest of the solar system.

According to SpaceWeather, the phenomenon starts with the coronal hole, which is an opening in the Sun’s atmosphere. The magnetic fields of the Sun open, allowing solar winds to escape:

“They look dark in ultraviolet images because the hot glowing plasma normally contained there is missing. In this case, the plasma is making a beeline for Earth.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the chances for a geomagnetic storm to take place today, 24 July, on Earth are up to 65%.

What Will We Experience?

Except for being exposed to a higher amount of solar radiation and becoming more vulnerable to cancer, what we will witness on Earth is not as grim as it sounds.

We will experience some blackouts, and lose GPS and mobile phone signals. In the Northern and Southern hemispheres, we will see aurora australis and aurora borealis – depending which region is hit by the winds.

The negative consequences are serious, affecting most of the technology based on satellites. While our Earth’s magnetic field protects humans and living beings from the solar radiation, technology is vulnerable.

The Earth’s outer atmosphere can be heated by solar winds, making it expand. This affects the satellites that orbit our planet, and as a consequence, it also leads to a lack of phone signal, satellite TV, and GPS navigation.

But this is not everything. The solar storm can also increase currents in the magnetosphere, which can lead to higher electricity in power lines, causing loss of power in case electrical transformers and power stations get damaged.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.