May 022021

A SOLAR STORM travelling at more than 500 kilometres per second is due to collide with Earth on Sunday, and it could have enough of an impact to affect Earth’s satellite technology.

A hole in the equatorial region of the Sun’s atmosphere has appeared, researchers have said. The hole is spewing solar particles at a speed of 500 kilometres per second, or 1.8 million kilometres per hour. Unfortunately for Earth, it is in the direct path of the stream of solar particles.

Categorised as a G1 class storm, the impacts are expected to be minor but could include power grid fluctuations, impact on satellite operations, and even impacts on migratory animals when it hits today, 2nd May 2021.

An intense solar storm can down satellite systems, as the bombardment of solar particles can expand Earth’s magnetosphere, making it harder for satellite signals to penetrate.

Solar flares that hit Earth are mostly harmless, but the sun is capable of releasing flares that are so powerful they could cripple Earth’s technology. In 1989, for example, a solar storm caused an electrical power blackout in the entire province of Quebec, Canada.


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