On Monday, October 16, a powerful magnetic filament erupted on the Sun. In particular, the burst of plasma occurred in the active sunspot AR3467, which was previously reported to have shown signs of capturing a large amount of delta energy. The explosion was so large that it ejected solar material and plasma into space, also known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME is now moving in the direction of Earth. Although NASA models assure that a direct impact is unlikely at this point, it is expected to leave the planet still far enough to trigger a solar storm. The storm is expected to make landfall tomorrow, October 19.
A step Report Via SpaceWeather.com, „A magnetic filament attached to sunspot AR3467 exploded on October 16, hurling a CME into space. It was not headed directly for Earth. However, NASA modeling suggests that a visible blow could be delivered as late as October 19. If so, the untargeted A CME may cause a small G1-class geomagnetic storm.
A solar storm threatens Earth
A sidestep or a glancing blow basically means that the CME cloud will not hit the Earth entirely, but only a part of it will brush against our planet’s magnetosphere and the rest will pass us by. However, this is still enough to trigger a solar storm event on Earth, but it will be of lesser intensity.
NASA is predicting a G1-category storm, meaning it will induce auroras and disrupt some radio waves, resulting in communications disruption for mariners, pilots, drone pilots and amateur radio operators.
However, that’s not the full extent of what solar storms can do. In worst cases, such storms can disrupt GPS and mobile networks, disrupt Internet connectivity, damage satellites, cause power grid outages and destroy ground-based electronics.
How NASA Soho Tracks the Sun
NASA SOHO is a satellite launched on December 2, 1995. It is a joint project by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the Sun, its atmosphere and its effects on the Solar System. Equipped with 12 scientific instruments such as the Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT), Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI), LASCO (large-angle and spectrometric coronagraph), SOHO captures images of the Sun’s corona and measures its velocities and magnetic fields. The surface of the Sun, and observes the faint corona surrounding the Sun.
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