Earth could experience a direct hit from a solar storm a space scientist predicted to impact the planet on Tuesday.
Less than a week ago, astronomers were struck with worry as they witnessed a giant sunspot and filaments on the sun’s surface. These sunspots and filaments were directed toward the Earth, which the solar flares and coronal mass ejections could potentially lead to some planetary blackouts.
Dr. Tamitha Skov, also known as the “Space Weather Woman,” predicted a direct hit, presumably Tuesday.
“Direct Hit! A snake-like filament launched as a big solarstorm while in the Earth-strike zone,” Skov shared on social media. “NASA predicts impact early July 19. Strong aurora shows possible with this one, deep into mid-latitudes. Amateur radio & GPS users expect signal disruptions on Earth’s nightside.”
Skov continued to say the magnetic orientation of the Earth-directed solar storm is tough to predict. However, she said, “G2-level (possibly G3) conditions may occur if the magnetic field of this storm is oriented southward.”
Many parts of the world could see radio blackouts from a massive solar flare which was seen erupting from the Sun on Friday.
Bright auroras could be seen over Canada after a G1-class geomagnetic storm – which no one predicted until late – hit the planet earlier this month.
According to U.S. and U.K. government weather agencies, Earth was hit by harmless geomagnetic storms back in March. These previous storms proved that potential future, more powerful storms are likely.
With the Sun now in an active phase of its 11-year solar cycle, incidents such as these are expected to increase. The question now becomes: how harmful are they really? Typically, they can cause significant blackouts to GPS navigation systems, which could end up disrupting journeys for small aircraft and ships. Other than that, however, there is not much to worry about.