Geomagnetic storm forecast on Earth on August 3: what to expect

NOAA scientists have announced that due to plasma ejected from a coronal hole, a G1-class geomagnetic storm is expected for tomorrow.

Credit: NOAA

The August 3 a stream of solar wind will crash against the Earth’s magnetic fieldgiving birth to a geomagnetic storm. This was announced by scientists from the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a US federal agency that deals with meteorological, climatic and oceanographic phenomena. The event, as explained by LiveScienceis due to a giant coronal hole site in the southern hemisphere of Sunwhich is making the plasma in the direction of our planet. Coronal holes are areas of the solar corona (the outer layer of the star’s atmosphere) colder and darker, in which the electrified gas is less dense. From these regions the solar magnetic field lines radiate into space and allow the plasma particles to escape. When the coronal holes are turned towards the Earth, exactly as happens with the coronal mass ejections (CME) and i flaresthe ejected material can impact the Earth’s magnetic field after a days’ journey, giving rise to geomagnetic storms and spectacular polar auroras.

How specified by the specialized site Spaceweather.comFortunately, a geomagnetic storm of class G1the weakest on a scale of 1 to 5. For a storm of this class, scientists predict little impact on electric lines and some small disturbances related to the operation of the satellitesbut nothing of particular concern. Alterations in the behavior of children are also possible animals which exploit the Earth’s magnetic field for migrate. The most notable aspect of class G1 geomagnetic storms is probably the appearance of polar auroras at lower latitudes. During the last event of this type, which occurred around July 20 due to a violent coronal mass expulsion, thenorthern Lights it also manifested itself in the skies of Maine he was born in Michigan, in the United States. It is also expected for tomorrow. These spectacular optical phenomena occur because electrically charged particles from the solar wind bind to the electric field lines and flow into the ionosphere (between 100 and 500 kilometers high), interacting with the atoms of the atmospheric gases present. This interaction releases the characteristic luminous arches which can be hundreds of kilometers long.

But geomagnetic storms aren’t just small problems and breathtaking light shows. A geomagnetic storm of class G5 it would in fact literally be able to plunge us back into the Middle Ages for weeks or even months, according to experts, causing very serious damage to the electrical infrastructures, the internet line and radio and satellite communications, since the devices would be directly “fried”. The infamous Carrington event which occurred in September 1859 and set fire to the telegraphs – the communication tools par excellence of the time -, caused the operators to take bad shocks and triggered the polar aurora at very low latitudes; suffice it to say that it was visible in the sky of Rome. Such an event is neither foreseeable nor preventable; if the expulsion of solar material is very violent and the Earth is in the crosshairs there is very little we can do.

In this period the Sun is very active as it is heading towards maximum peak of the magnetic activity of his 11-year cycleexpected for July 2025. At this stage more are formed Sunspots and violent phenomena such as flares and CMEs, which are the basis of geomagnetic storms, occur more frequently.

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Geomagnetic storm forecast on Earth on August 3: what to expect

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