Intense solar space weather is associated with power fluctuations, GPS malfunction and loss of satellite communication. Geomagnetic storms can block entire power grids, block radio signals, and severely disrupt satellite operations. On Tuesday, February 26, US space weather forecasters warned that charged particles of the Sun would spread to Earth between Feb. 27 and Feb. 28. The Weather Prediction Center for Space (SWPC) then released a G1 Storm Watch, which is actually right now.
Will there be a breakdown of technology today?
A gaping hole in the Sun's outer layer, called the crown, spits out solar winds and charged particles toward the Earth.
Solar energy now mixes with and affects the Earth's natural magnetic field.
But the geomagnetic storm observed today will generally go unnoticed, without causing disturbances.
On Tuesday, the SWPC issued a warning warning of G1 minor geomagnetic storm.
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The forecaster said: "A G1 Minor geomagnetic storm watch is in effect for February 27 and 28 due to the anticipated effects associated with high-velocity coronal-hole flow."
The anticipated effects of a G1 storm are generally minimal and have only a "weak effect" on electrical systems, spacecraft and satellites.
The most visible effect of the storm will be the increased presence of what is known as the Northern Light Aurora near the North Pole.
The SWPC stated that auroral effects will be visible in southern Canada and perhaps in the northernmost states of the United States.
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What are the effects of geomagnetic storms on the Earth?
When the Sun directly sends energy back to Earth, the protective magnetic barrier of the planet is "peeled like an onion."
According to the NASA space agency, this results in a decrease in the strength of the magnetic field around the Earth.
The solar particles then fall around the North or South Pole.
The charged particles excite the different molecules of gas in the air, which start to shine in various hues of red, green, blue and purple – aurora.
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Stronger energy explosions, especially during Extreme G5 storms, can be much more devastating for human infrastructure.
The SWPC said, "Power Systems: Generalized voltage control issues and protection system issues may arise, some network systems may experience complete collapse or failures. Transformers can be damaged.
"Spacecraft Exploitation: Surface Loading Problems, Orientation, Uplink / Downlink Problems and Satellite Tracking.
"Other systems: pipeline currents can reach hundreds of amperes, high-frequency radio propagation may be impossible in many areas for one to two days, satellite navigation may be degraded for days, radio navigation at low Frequency can be off for hours and has been seen as low as Florida and South Texas. "