You may have seen the latest forecast for a severe solar storm heading to Earth at «1.6 million kph» Tuesday. Articles in Times of IndiaAnd the Hindustan Times newspaper, And the Indian Express Describe disturbances in wireless, communications, GPS satellites, and the power grid including transformers overload.
Hey ho! News He goes on to note that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colorado, has «rated the solar storm at a level X1.»
The effects can happen to communications, navigation, and energy systems, but the X1 solar flare mentioned here happened last week. she was Ranked as a strong event Rather than the dangerous event described in these articles.
The extreme conditions described in these articles occur only about 8 times on average during each 11-year solar cycle. They also only affect the side of the Earth facing the sun for only one and two hours, even at the levels shown.
What’s really going on
a A pair of blackouts occurred on July 3, and the result are solar flares, both from the same region of the Sun. The two strongest flares, rated X1.5 by NASA and SWPC and observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, had the strongest glow in about 4 years.
The glow was strong enough to disturb high-frequency radio communications on the sunlit side of the Earth.
But that was last week. The energy from the solar flare travels at the speed of light, or about 8.3 minutes, to Earth.
The Space Weather Prediction Center, unlike its more on-earth colleagues in the National Weather Service, also issues watches (potential space weather activity with lead time ranging from hours to days) and warnings (a major space weather event occurring, imminent or probable). The SWPC has not issued any watches or warnings since July 1 when readings of the K planetary index, a measure of geomagnetic disturbances, crossed the lowest threshold indicating moderate magnetic changes, still a step below even a slight storm.
The latest forecast shows there is a 1 percent chance of radio outages or storms of solar radiation. The current and projected planetary K index levels are also well below the levels that triggered the July 1 warning.
Forecasts during the first week of August describe «very low levels» of solar activity and the geomagnetic field at «quiet to active levels.» This is well below levels that would result in warnings or hours of a space weather storm.
No space weather storms have been observed or predicted in the past or the next 24 hours according to the latest SWPC report.