GPS and radio signals face disruption as solar storm to make ‘direct hit’ on Earth

·2-min read
Scientists have warned Britain needs to prepare for a solar superstorm
Scientists have warned Britain needs to prepare for a solar superstorm

A solar storm is predicted to strike the Earth today with the potential for GPS and radio signals to be distorted.

The impact of a “snake-like filament” will be a “direct hit” that could disrupt signals and be visible in some regions of the planet on Tuesday, July 19, NASA predicts.

SpaceWeather physicist Dr Tamitha Skov says we should “expect signal disruptions on Earth’s nightside”, The Independent reported.

What’s more, a “minor” G1-class storm could hit later this week, originating from a coronal mass ejection (a release of plasma and magnetic energy) released by the sun last week by an unstable filament of magnetism.

These eruptions are capable of releasing 100,000 times more energy than all the power plants on Earth generate throughout a year, reported Wales Online.

These storms come as the sun is in the active phase of its 11 year-long solar cycle, with incidents like these expected to increase in frequency.

Over the weekend, an enormous structure of plasma and magnetic field known as a “prominence” broke away from the sun.

Dr Sebastian Voltmer, who captured an image of it, told SpaceWeather: “The sheer size of the prominence is impressive. It was spectacular to see a very fast moving part of it ejecting and detaching to the side.”

Research suggests that satellites have been dropping out of their orbits due to increased solar wind activity and smaller craft, known as CubeSats, have been destroyed completely.

The decrease in altitude for these satellites is 10 times faster than it has been in the past.

Potent solar storms can have serious effects on human activities.

Some research suggests that satellites have been dropping out of their orbits due to increased solar wind activity and smaller craft, known as CubeSats, have been destroyed completely. The decrease in altitude for these satellites is 10 times faster than it has been in the past, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

Scientists may have a way of predicting these storms, using the maximal growth rate of sunspot activity as a precursor to how powerful the cycle might be, and this could aid protecting vulnerable infrastructure such as power grids, communication equipment, and the internet.

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