A solar storm will affect the Earth

Forecasters are warning of a potential geomagnetic storm expected to engulf Earth's magnetic field on Tuesday, June 4.

This prediction follows the coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun that started on June 1, which is the result of a powerful double solar flare X1-M7 - a burst of intense electromagnetic radiation followed by an explosive release of solar plasma.

Initially, predictions were complicated by the presence of two CMEs fired at the same time—one headed toward Earth and the other receding.

Now, however, analysts have clarified the trajectory of the Earth-bound CME. "While the CME is not expected to make a direct hit, its flyby could still trigger a moderate geomagnetic storm around June 4," explained Dr. Michele Viglione, a space weather forecaster at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). .

CMEs are massive clouds of solar plasma and magnetic fields that can reach Earth within 1-3 days of their eruption from the Sun. When a CME interacts with Earth's magnetosphere, it can trigger geomagnetic storms by inducing electrical currents that disrupt our planet's magnetic field environment.

The strength of a geomagnetic storm depends on the speed, size, and orientation of the incoming CME's magnetic field.

In this case, although no direct impact is expected, the grazing CME could still produce moderately strong storms classified as G2 or G3 on the geomagnetic storm scale.

"We expect a possible degradation of communications for aircraft and satellite operators, potential problems with GPS and other navigation systems, and auroral events visible at higher latitudes," Dr Viglione said.

"Utilities are also advised to watch for possible induced currents affecting power grids," he added.

As the CME cloud approaches, NOAA and other agencies will continue to monitor its development to refine forecasts.

Meanwhile, aurora enthusiasts look forward to the potential light shows at higher latitudes that result from the interaction of the oncoming solar storm with the Earth's upper atmosphere. | BGNES