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Massive solar storm predicted to hit Earth today that could cause radio and internet blackouts

Britt Jones

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| Last updated 

Massive solar storm predicted to hit Earth today that could cause radio and internet blackouts

Featured Image Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/DrPixel

If you thought December couldn’t start off on a rough note, it turns out it can.

Researchers from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other forecasters recently predicted that three solar storms were heading to Earth, with the potential that some of them could merge to produce strong magnetic field disruptions.

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But now it has been confirmed that we’re due a massive solar storm to hit Earth today (1 December), which could put some in danger of radio and internet blackouts.

With the possibility of GPS, internet and radio fluctuations in some parts of the globe this Friday, it’s just not what you need when halfway through your online Christmas shopping, is it?

The news about the storm was signalled by space weather physicist, Dr Tamitha Skov who posted to her followers on X (formerly Twitter) that the solar storm, or coronal mass ejection could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field and has the ability to impact communications systems.

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She wrote: “The storm is predicted to hit Earth by midday December 1... If the magnetic field is oriented correctly, expect aurora to reach deep into mid-latitudes.

"Amateur radio and GPS reception issues are likely, especially on Earth’s nightside.

“Along with two earlier storms already en route [this] means we have a 1,2,3-punch.”

Dr Skov added that there are ‘excellent chances’ of auroras and G3-level magnetic storms.

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What does G3 mean?

Earth is going to have 3 solar storms very soon. Credit: Pixabay
Earth is going to have 3 solar storms very soon. Credit: Pixabay

Well, it’s not the best.

The magnitude of solar storms is predicted by G followed by a number between one to five which depicts the severity of its impact.

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One tends to be more of a minor incident, while five is extreme and can cause high-frequency radio blackouts on the entire sunlit side of the Earth.

So we’re right in the middle today.

But, you could see beautiful auroras as a result. Credit: Pixabay
But, you could see beautiful auroras as a result. Credit: Pixabay

The NOAA also jumped in to share their videos and photos of what we might see in the sky soon as auroras could be caused.

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It posted: “With 3 CMEs already inbound, the addition of a 4th, full halo CME has prompted SWPC forecasters to upgrade the G2 Watch on 01 Dec to a G3 Watch.

"This faster-moving halo CME is progged to merge with 2 of the 3 upstream CMEs, all arriving at Earth on 01 Dec.

“G3 (strong) conditions are now likely on 01 Dec.”

Solar storms are powerful energy blasts which are produced from solar flare events (explosive events on the Sun) in the form of magnetic energy.

The solar storm that we are due to see could disrupt communication systems, stemming from a strong flare near ‘Region 3500’ on the Sun, according to scientists.

Dr Skov explained: “Possibly G3-G4 level with this one, especially considering there are at least two solar storms already on their way, ahead of this one.”

Topics: Technology, News, Science, Space, Twitch, Social Media

Britt Jones
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