Space weather WARNING: Earth is currently being battered by a solar storm

 solar storm
A stream of solar particles have been travelling from the Sun for the past few days, and are now “buffeting Earth”. Scientists have stated that the storm is hitting Earth’s southern hemisphere, so aurora australis - or southern lights – can be expected. Auroras, which also include northern lights – aurora borealis – are caused when solar particles hit the atmosphere. As the magnetosphere gets bombarded by solar winds, stunning blue lights can appear as that layer of the atmosphere deflects the particles.

Website Space Weather said: “A high-speed stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth’s magnetic field, causing intermittent G1-class geomagnetic storms.

“High latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras, especially in the southern hemisphere where winter darkness favors visibility.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has classified the impending solar storm as a G-1 or ‘minor’.

However, the consequences could be far more serious than the appearance of the Northern or Southern Lights.

For the most part, the Earth’s magnetic field protects humans from the barrage of radiation, but solar storms can affect satellite-based technology.

Solar winds can heat the Earth’s outer atmosphere, causing it to expand.

This can affect satellites in orbit, potentially leading to a lack of GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV such as Sky.

Additionally, a surge of particles can lead to high currents in the magnetosphere, which can lead to higher than normal electricity in power lines, resulting in electrical transformers and power stations blow outs and a loss of power. The higher amounts of radiation can also leave people vulnerable to cancer.

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