Scientists sound solar storm alert

The Earth's magnetic field is being bombarded with extra energy from the Sun, with a geomagnetic storm sending charged particles.

    Storm could affect power systems, communications and cell phones

    The event, called Coronal Mass Ejections, have sent 10 billion tonnes of superhot gas speeding towards the Earth.

    "We predicted it would be a mid-level storm, a G-3, and that’s where it is," Joe Kunches, chief of space weather operations at the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Centre said.

    A coronal mass ejection (CME) is an explosion of gas and charged particles into space from a solar flare in the Sun's corona.

    The storm is expected to last through the weekend.

    Alert

    Electric utilities and other high-technology users were notified about the storm, but no serious problems have yet been reported.

    "We have heard from the power grid operators. They are doing OK, but they are seeing the effects of the storm in their data," Kunches said.

    During the storm the sun sends more energy than usual towards the Earth. 

    "The earth's magnetic field pulls it in… and is now trying to balance it," Kunches explained.

    The effect can be felt worldwide. Scientists have warned the geomagnetic storm could affect power systems, communication and cell phones.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.