A hole in the equatorial region of the Sun’s atmosphere has appeared, researchers said. The hole spits out solar particles at a speed of 500 kilometers per second, or 1.8 million kilometers per hour. Unfortunately for the Earth, it is in the direct path of the flow of solar particles.
Forecasters expect the flux to reach Earth on Sunday, May 2 and this could affect the technology of Earth’s satellites.
It has been classified as a class G1 storm which can cause “small fluctuations in the power grid” and may have “minor impact on satellite operations”.
Astronomer Tony Phillips wrote on his Space Weather site: “Minor geomagnetic class G1 storms are possible on May 2 when a current of solar wind is expected to hit the Earth’s magnetic field.
“Gaseous matter flows more than 500 km / s from an equatorial hole in the sun’s atmosphere.”
While this solar storm is largely negligible, some experts have warned that a major solar storm is a matter of “when it’s not if”.
Every now and then the Sun releases a solar flare which in turn sends energy into space.
Some of these solar flares can strike the Earth and, for the most part, are harmless to our planet.
However, the Sun can also release solar flares so powerful that they can cripple Earth technology.
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As such, experts lamented the lack of preparation for an extreme space weather event, warning that it could cost trillions and cause widespread panic.
Risk advisory firm Drayton Tyler said: “A solar super storm is a ‘when, not if’ event.
“In the worst-case scenario, the direct and indirect costs will likely run into the trillions of dollars with a payback time of years rather than months.
“The likelihood of an event of this magnitude occurring is estimated by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering to be one in ten over the course of a decade.”