A minor G-1 geomagnetic storm is expected on Wednesday when high-speed solar winds from a "hole" in the sun's atmosphere hit Earth.
According to Spaceweather.com, "gaseous material is flowing from a southern hole in the sun's atmosphere."
Our star's gas is cooler and less dense in the coronal holes. The sun's magnetic field can be seen in the holes where it opens in new tab lines. This allows solar material to surge out in a torrent that travels at speeds up to 1.8 million mph.
Scientists are concerned about the ancient solar storm smashing Earth at the wrong part of the sun's cycle.
The solar debris is absorbed on planets with strong magnetic fields. Earth's magnetic field is compressed by the waves of energetic particles. The Northern Lights are similar to the ones that make up the particles that trickle down magnetic-field lines.
This debris will cause a weak storm. It has the potential to cause minor fluctuations in power grids and impact some satellite functions. As far south as Michigan and Maine will it bring the Aurora?
Satellites can fall to Earth if the planet's magnetic field is disrupted by more extreme storms. According to the Space Weather Prediction Center, debris from the sun can take up to 18 hours to reach Earth.
The sun is about to enter its most active phase of the solar cycle.
The sun has been more active than expected in recent times, with nearly double the sunspot appearances predicted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The sun's activity is expected to increase over the next few years, reaching a maximum in the year 2025. A paper published July 20 in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics proposed a new model for the sun's activity by separately counting sunspots in each hemisphere.
According to scientists, the largest solar storm ever witnessed was the 1859 Carrington event, which released the same amount of energy as 10 billion atomic bombs. After slamming into Earth, the powerful stream of solar particles fried telegraph systems all over the world, causing the Auroras to appear as far south as the Caribbean. Scientists warn that a solar storm like the 1989 one that released a billion ton of gas and caused a power failure in Quebec would cause trillions of dollars in damage.
It was originally published on Live Science