Solar storm: NASA captures the moment a sunspot 'explodes'
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Solar winds which have been born from a flare stemming from a sunspot are close to Earth. Experts believe the solar wind could reach Earth today and continue bombarding our planet for 24 hours.
According to astronomy site Space Weather, the solar wind is travelling at more than 300 kilometres per second.
This is more than a staggering one million kilometres per hour.
Dr Tony Phillips of Space Weather said: “Minor geomagnetic unrest is likely on June 15-16 when a stream of solar wind hits Earth’s magnetic field.
“The gaseous material is flowing from a southern hole in the sun’s atmosphere.
“A waxing crescent Moon will not interfere with possible high-latitude auroras.”
Thankfully, the solar winds are not likely to cause any more damage this time around than auroras.
Auroras, which include northern lights – aurora borealis – and southern lights – aurora australis – 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.
However, researchers also note the consequences of a solar storm and space weather can extend beyond northern or southern lights.
For the most part, the Earth’s magnetic field protects humans from the barrage of radiation that comes from sunspots, 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.
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A surge of particles can also lead to high currents in the magnetosphere.
This can lead to higher than normal electricity in power lines, resulting in electrical transformers and power stations blowouts and a loss of power.
Previous studies have revealed the Sun releases an extreme solar flare every 25 years on average, with the last Earth-hitting one coming in 1989.
This storm saw power outages in Quebec, Canada, as conducting rocks on Earth can carry the excess energy from the magnetic shield and plough it into the national grid.
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