Amid the Covid-19 crisis refusing to abate across the world, a new geomagnetic storm expected this weekend has urged space weather forecasters to issue several warnings. According to reports, a storm resulting from solar winds travelling at the speed of a million miles an hour is expected to hit Earth between Sunday and Monday.
As per reports, a hole has opened up in the atmosphere of the Sun, thus creating a stream of charged particles and high-speed solar winds. The storm, which is the result of the stream of solar charged particles moving in Earth's direction, is expected to batter parts of the planet between July 11-12. Experts fear that the strong winds may trigger a geomagnetic storm in Earth's magnetosphere which includes the upper reaches of Earth in space.
The minor solar storm in Earth's magnetosphere may cause the emergence of visually pleasing auroras in north and south latitudinous regions.
What is a geomagnetic storm?
According to the United States-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Centre, variations on solar winds can produce changes in the Earth's magnetic fields as well as the plasmas and currents existing in Earth's magnetosphere.
Geomagnetic storms, thus, refer to major or minor disturbances occurring in Earth's magnetosphere due to the "efficient exchange of energy" from solar winds entering Earth's space environment.
According to estimates by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) solar winds are known to blow at a speed of one million miles per hour and go can go even faster.
As per NASA estimates, the solar winds presently heading toward Earth are travelling at a distance of 1.6 million kilometres per hour. The speed can be expected to increase.
As per previous reports, the National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center that provides forecasts on 'space weather' had previously predicted in June about a G-1 class geomagnetic storm that had formed as a result of swift solar winds.