High-speed solar storm expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field to disrupt GPS, phone signals


After a solar flare caused a radio blackout over the Atlantic Ocean, a solar storm is approaching the Earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometres per hour, as per NASA.


The storm is likely to hit Earth’s magnetic field today and may affect power supply, GPS and phone signals. Satellites in Earth’s upper atmosphere may be affected. Because of the solar storm, there will be a view of fascinating celestial lighting for people living at the North or South Pole.


The storm can also lead to a blackout of high-frequency radio communication for nearly an hour in a vast area, the latest prediction of the Space Weather Prediction Centre of the United States said.


Spaceweather.com added that the outer atmosphere of the Earth could be heated, due to solar storms, which could have a direct effect on the satellites. The flares also have the potential of affecting power grids in some parts of the world. Experts also fear that the strong winds may trigger a geomagnetic storm in Earth’s magnetosphere.


This could cause interference with GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV. The current in power lines can be high, which can also blow transformers.


The largest storms that result from these conditions are associated with solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) where billions of tons of plasma from the Sun are hurtled towards planets that also reach Earth. While coronal mass ejections take days to arrive at Earth, some have been observed to arrive within 15-18 hours of being ejected from the Sun.