Today, March 24, 2023, the most powerful solar storm in almost six years has been detected, due to which the most noticeable effects are expected in orbit and possibly on the Earth’s surface. The magnitude of this category 4 or “severe” event includes space weather experts.
According to their intensity, solar storms are mild (G1), moderate (G2), strong (G3), severe (G4) and extreme (G5).
What caused such a solar storm?
Earlier this week, NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) discovered Earth’s coronal hole in the Sun. This dark and less dense region emits a stream of high-speed solar wind that reaches the planet between March 23 and 25, a warning for a G1-level solar storm (also called a geomagnetic storm). G2, “gentle” and “moderate”.
The coronal lake in the Sun, captured on 20 cal. Photo: SDO/NASA
However, a solar flare called a CME accompanied that stream of solar particles and increased their impact on Earth’s magnetic field. For this reason, in the early hours of this Friday, March 24, NOAA issued a permanent G4 solar storm watch, with effects throughout the day.
Intense solar storm level 4 in progress, published by Noaa. Photo: Twitter
Effects on Earth
NOAA warned that during this severe solar storm, particles penetrating the Earth’s magnetic field could significantly increase the density of the atmosphere, which could pull low-orbiting satellites toward the surface.
They also pointed out that there are frequent failures in the global satellite navigation system, which includes GPS or global system services.
A storm alone disturbs the Earth’s magnetic field. Image: Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
The matter warns that particles can reach the level of the earth’s surface and affect electrical networks, thus suggesting “the possibility of widespread voltage control problems”.
Regions highly exposed to these effects are found in high latitudes, such as the United States, Canada and the southern part of South America, because solar particles enter the planet’s poles.
Events of this type are positive auroras, which in this case are geomagnetic storms of great magnitude. saw in places far from the poles.