Solar storm will threaten electrical grids and navigation systems in the world

Solar storm will threaten electrical grids and navigation systems in the world

A major solar storm threatens to cause blackouts this weekend, disrupt navigation systems and disable high-frequency radios around the world.. This is the first time since January 2005 that the US Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a G4 geomagnetic storm alert (the second highest on a scale of five), when multiple waves of solar energy hit the planet.

Five eruptions of material from the solar atmosphere are expected to arrive starting Friday night and persist through Sunday. “Alerts at this level are very unusual,” explained the Space Weather Prediction Center.

While people will be protected by the Earth's magnetic field, Unprepared power grids could be disrupted, pipelines could become overloaded, and spacecraft could be blown off course.. The last time the Earth was hit by a G5 storm — the worst on the scale — was in October 2003, causing power outages in Sweden and damage to transformers in South Africa.

The storm's true power will be known 60 to 90 minutes before it hits Earth, when satellites measure approaching bursts of energy. According to the UK Met Office, large areas of Asia, Europe and North America may be able to see the Northern Lights at night where the skies are dark and clear enough. It is also likely to be visible across the UK.

Additionally, transpolar flights between Europe, Asia and North America are likely to be diverted to avoid further radiation exposure to passengers and crew..

The culprit is a sunspot cluster visible on the right side of the solar disk that is 16 times wider than Earth. The sun, which goes through an 11-year cycle in which the number of spots increases and decreases, is approaching the current peak that began in December 2019.