Scientists and researchers have warned that Cannibal coronal mass ejection could trigger Geomagnetic Storm on August 18.
With the Sun at its volatile best in recent weeks, it has been erupting frequently and generating solar storms that are being hurled towards Earth. Last week, an unexpected solar storm sparked stunning auroras across Canada and the UK and now a new report has warned of possible Geomagnetic Storm tomorrow, which is August 18. As shared by NOAA’s latest forecast model, two CMEs erupted on the solar surface and they are set to hit the Earth together on Thursday, August 18. As reported, a Coronal Mass Ejection erupted on August 14 as well as on August 15. “This could be a Cannibal CME event where the second CME might overtake and gobble up the first, creating a mish-mash of the two,” says the report. Cannibal CMEs have tangled magnetic fields and compressed plasmas that could trigger strong geomagnetic storms.
According to Spaceweather.com, Cannibal CME is traveling faster than 600 kmps (1.3 million mph). It could create minor (G1) to moderate (G2) geomagnetic storm here on earth. While G1 storms can lead to weak power grid fluctuations, affect satellite operations and affevt animal and bird migration, G2 storms are more intense and could cause high-altitude power systems blackout and transformer damage if they last for long.
What are geomagnetic storms?
Geomagnetic storms are caused by CMEs that generate huge solar storms that are propelled towards Earth. The CME is a huge expulsion of hot material called plasma from the Sun’s outer layer. When these solar storms smash into the Earth’s atmosphere they cause a geomagnetic storm. Most of the solar storm’s energy is absorbed there. However, if the solar storm is too strong to be absorbed by our protective atmosphere, the energy reaches the Earth and these can cause severe damage to all electrical infrastructure.
What is Coronal Mass ejection?
According to NASA, the sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona, is structured by strong magnetic fields, often above sunspot groups. The violent release of gas bubbles and magnetic fields are called coronal mass ejections.