Earth Faces Possible Geomagnetic Storms After 4 Massive Explosions On The Sun

Don’t be surprised if you lose power or cellphone service this week. That’s because the planet could experience disturbances called geomagnetic storms as a result of four massive explosions were observed on the Sun this week. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured the rare event at around 3:30am on Tuesday.

Four regions on the sun, separated by hundreds of thousands of kilometers, were seen exploding almost simultaneously. When solar CMEs (Coronal Mass Ejections) occur it can expel billions of tons of solar material into space at high speeds.

When a CME interacts with Earth’s magnetosphere, it may cause geomagnetic storms. These storms can disrupt satellite communications, radio signals, and power grids on Earth. They also produce stunning auroras (northern and southern lights) near the poles.

A close up of a solar eruption
A close-up of a solar eruption, including a solar flare, a coronal mass ejection, and a solar energetic particle event. (Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

This week’s blasts were on a trajectory south of Earth, but could affect our magnetic field, sparking a G1-class geomagnetic storm. Space-watchers suggest potential impacts from the CMEs could begin Thursday.

NASA’s SDO is a spacecraft mission to observe the Sun’s dynamics to “increase understanding of the nature and sources of solar variability”.

SDO documents the outer atmosphere of the Sun – called the corona – as well as hot flare plasma.

SWNS writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.

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