The Earth is expected to be hit by a solar storm on Wednesday and Thursday due to ramped up activity by the Sun. The forecast has been made by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA said on Twitter that a coronal mass ejection (CME) from an approximately 25-degree-long filament lifted off the Sun on March 3. Due to that, the geomagnetic storms will hit the Earth late on April 6 (Wednesday).
G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic Storm Watch for 6-7 Apr. pic.twitter.com/ft9XyK4pa1— NOAA Space Weather (@NWSSWPC) April 4, 2022
The storm is likely to extend to April 7 (Thursday), the NOAA forecast further said.
However, the geomagnetic storm heading towards the Earth will be a minor one, NOAA said, categorizing it as G1. The geomagnetic storms are categorised between G1 and G5, the latter being the strongest.
Apart from pushing the aurora at higher altitudes, these storm could impact the electrical systems, including power grids and power plants, radio and satellite communications, and navigation systems.
A second filament eruption occurred on March 4, but it appears the CME from that event will not impact Earth.
What is a geomagnetic storm?
According to NOAA, it is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.
These storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in the currents, plasmas, and fields in Earth's magnetosphere.
A strong geomagnetic storm – G4 or G5 – would cause life altering events on the Earth and damage anything that runs on electricity.
This isn't the first time this year that the Earth will be battered by a geomagnetic storm. In February, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's Starlink project was hit hard when a geomagnetic storm damaged 40 of its satellites.