The combined power from two solar flares angrily released by our Sun on Wednesday has caused space weather experts to issue a strong geomagnetic storm watch alert.
The effects of the massive amount of radiation – which is predicted last through to Saturday – is tipped to wield a power of X1.6, placing it in the most intense category when it comes to the power of these eruptions from our Sun.
There’s no way of knowing how the storm will affect power dries, radio and satellites at present, but experts have stated that we shouldn’t worry – though be on the safe side, NASA are taking steps to protect crew on board the International Space Station and satellites in orbit around our planet by switching off sensitive sensors to minimise risks to smartphones and WiFi connections. However, it has been advised by Lika Guhathakurta, a program scientist with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, that there may be temporary glitches.
The last time Earth was severely affected by a solar storm was in March 1989 when the entire province of Quebec lost its power for 12 hours. The Quebec Blackout, wreaked havoc with the United States power grids, some of NASA’s satellites lost control for hours and space shuttle Discovery, which was in Earth-orbit at the time, suffered from temporary technical glitches.
There seems to be a lot to fear, but on the plus side, solar storms treat us to stunning displays of aurora with experts predicting that northerners might be able to see them tonight and in the early hours of tomorrow morning.