Over the weekend, Earth was hit by a solar storm whose origin has so far puzzled astronomers. Solar storms are large disturbances that occur due to explosions on the Sun’s surface, known as solar flares, caused by tangling, crossing, or rearranging magnetic field lines. Within minutes of detonating, these flares heat solar material to millions of degrees, creating a burst of radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to X-rays and gamma rays.
Experts believe this geomagnetic storm, which is causing a temporary disturbance in Earth’s magnetosphere, was caused by an unexpected coronal mass ejection embedded in the solar wind.
Experts from Spaceweather.com wrote: “A small G1 class geomagnetic storm erupted around midnight (UT) on June 25-26.
“Forecasters aren’t sure why. The prime suspect is an unexpected CME embedded in the solar wind.
“So far, no auroras have been reported from the 6-hour storm.”
One of the most powerful forms of solar storm, a CME, occurs when the Sun ejects a cloud of charged particles and electromagnetic fluctuations from its atmosphere.
When CME is aimed at Earth, a clear observed effect is that the solar storm amplifies the aurora borealis and australis, the natural light shows produced when particles from the solar wind excite atoms in Earth’s upper atmosphere, causing them to glow.
The solar storm that hit Earth was classified as G1, which is minor and could cause faint fluctuations in the power grid and even minor impacts on satellite communications.
Meanwhile, space weather expert Dr. Tamitha Skov: “Fast Solar Wind Hits Earth!
“Expect choppy to stormy conditions for the next 48-72 hours.
“High-latitude Aurora trackers should get good shows with sporadic views in mid-latitudes.
READ MORE: Solar storm warning: NASA is on high alert as we face giant sunspot
“Ham radio operators will be watching for minor disturbances and the propagation of aurora borealis during #FieldDay weekend.”
Solar storms often create stunning aurora light shows at higher latitudes by affecting Earth’s magnetic field.
The Aurora Borealis, sometimes known as the Aurora Borealis, are natural light shows caused by the solar wind disrupting Earth’s magnetosphere.
Charged particles — mostly electrons and protons — fall into Earth’s upper atmosphere and excite it, causing it to glow.