Earlier this month, the Earth witnessed a dark filament opening up in the Sun’s atmosphere resulting in a coronal mass ejection. As a result, solar activity has increased as we approach another maximum solar epoch. As the plasma filament burst, a “canyon of fire” was driven into the Sun’s surface, 12,400 miles deep and 10 times longer than normal. Furthermore, the geomagnetism storm was strong enough to generate Arctic auroras. This is a fantastic photo opportunity at all times.
At 11am on Sunday, April 3rd, the Sun’s surface erupted into a massive canyon of fire, blasting charged plasma filaments away from it’s surface. The second plasma filament was followed at 5pm on Monday, April 4th. The Met Office in the UK has confirmed that the Sun’s cycle has accelerated, and as a result, plasma is being ejected into space.
In response to the eruption of the coronal mass ejection, a minor geomagnetic storm effected the Earth causing interruption to power networks and influencing satellites.
According to the Met Office, the overactive sunspot that was responsible for the recent burst of activity has now moved away from the Earth allowing the geomagnetic environment to quieten.
According to Nasa, “dangerous radiation from an outburst cannot penetrate through Earth’s atmosphere to physically hurt humans on the land. However, they can disrupt the stratosphere in the layer where GPS and telecommunications waves travel if they are strong enough.”
Fortunately, the geomagnetic storms that hit Earth had a negligible impact on life or technology. When solar wind energy is efficiently transported to the space environment that surrounds the planet, geomagnetic storms occur, causing tremendous disruptions in the planet’s magnetic field and strengthening polar lights, making them visible farther away from the poles than usual. This is because magnetized particles from Coronal Mass Ejections enter directly into the upper orbit where the Earth’s magnetic field is weakest. The colorful lights are caused by the interaction of solar particles with those in the atmosphere.
Although the initial storm has passed, another surprise burst from our hot star could reoccur.