Solar storm headed towards Earth, could impact cellphone, GPS signals, experts caution

New Delhi: A stream of highly charged particles – or solar winds, from the Sun is hurtling towards the Earth and is expected to reach sometime between Sunday and Monday (July 11 to 12), as per a report by Spaceweather.com. This stream of highly charged particles could likely trigger a minor solar storm in the Earth’s magnetosphere – a region of space dominated by Earth’s magnetic field, and could affect cellphone, GPS signals, space weather forecasters warned.

“As the wind flows toward Earth, it carries with it the Sun’s magnetic field. It moves very fast, the smacks right into Earth’s magnetic field. The blow causes a shock to our magnetic protection, which can result in turbulence,” Nicky Fox, of NASA’s Director of the Heliophysics Science Division told express.co.uk.  

Solar winds are streams of charged particles or plasma that erupt from the Sun and out into space. The “high-speed” stream is a result of a hole in the Sun’s atmosphere and it is spewing a stream of solar wind in Earth’s direction. While, NASA estimates these winds top, on average, speeds of about one million miles per hour but can go faster. Such space weather events disrupt satellite operations, affect radio communications and even cause power outages.

In a post on their official website, Spaceweather.com cautioned, “A high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. Flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere, wind speeds could top 500 km/s. Full-fledged geomagnetic storms are unlikely, but lesser geomagnetic unrest could spark high latitude auroras.”

Also, people living at northerly or southerly latitudes could witness fascinating celestial lighting or aurora at night.

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