The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported a dense stream of solar wind that enveloped Earth on Wednesday. The report stated that it had no impact and was not powerful in the space weather scale. However, the phenomenon was few hours long and unsettled the earth’s magnetic field.
More on the solar wind that enveloped Earth
According to the NOAA report, the solar storm passed the planet at 16:41 UTC on Wednesday. It was a 4 on the geomagnetic K-index. According to the K-index, an index used to distinguish the magnitude of geomagnetic storms, it was a minor disturbance. Moreover, they are harmless and invisible to those on the earth’s surface. “A high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field. Wind speeds could top 600 km/s, “reported spaceweather.com
What did the solar storm do?
The solar storm was near but, it caused weak fluctuations in the power grid. It can also be the cause behind auroras in the high altitudes of Alaska and Canada. However, there have been no reports of these occurrences by the local media in the US. Additionally, according to reports, it can affect communication infrastructures and electricity supplies on Earth. At greater magnitudes, they can also bathe airline crews with high amounts of radiation.
How do the solar winds affect Earth?
As the storm leaves the sun, it travels through the corona and then to the solar wind. However, when it reaches the Earth, it can energize our magnetosphere. This in turn accelerates the electrons and protons into the planet’s magnetic field lines. They collide with the atmosphere and the ionosphere at high altitudes. Moreover, components of the space weather can impact various technologies on the planet.
For example, a solar storm in 2017 led to static in ham radios. Additionally, in 2015, it was the reason behind the knockout of the global positioning system in the Northeastern US.