Scientists monitoring the activity of our star warn that in the coming days we will not escape the impacts of its plasma. There will be strong magnetic storms on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Since the beginning of the year, there has been a major surge in activity on the Sun, but clouds of solar matter have flown past the Earth. No luck this time.
Two largest outbreaks in five weeks
As aif.ru already wrote, on New Year’s Eve, shortly after the chiming clock, the largest flare on the Sun since 2017 occurred. The event was recorded at the eastern edge of the star, that is, at a considerable distance from the Sun-Earth line. For this reason, clouds of solar plasma (they excite the planet’s magnetosphere, causing magnetic storms) flew past us, which can be considered lucky.
Just recently, on February 9, another powerful flare occurred on our star. Scientists assessed its strength as X3.3, which means it was the second strongest (after New Year’s) in the current cycle of solar activity. Thus, during the first five weeks of 2024, the Sun has already produced two of the largest flares of recent years.
Moreover, if with the outbreak of January 1 it was immediately clear that, despite its strength, it would not affect the Earth in any way, then with the event of February 9 the situation was less clear. Scientists observed two large flare centers on the solar disk, one of which was located exactly opposite the direction to Earth, and the second, on the contrary, was at the very edge of the star, in a zone safe for us.
Only a few hours later, when data arrived from space coronagraphs (instruments that monitor solar mass emissions), one could breathe easy: the flare occurred in that region of the star that is located beyond its edge, that is, completely hidden from the eyes of earthlings.
“Surprises are possible”
And now scientists are warning that the planet will still be covered by magnetic storms.
“The Sun will still reach the Earth – the observed surge in activity will cause magnetic storms on Tuesday and Wednesday,” the Solar Astronomy Laboratory of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences called their message.
“After several unsuccessful attempts, including one of the largest flares of recent years at level X3.3, which occurred on February 9 and did not affect the Earth at that time, the Sun nevertheless ejected large masses of matter towards our planet. It is estimated that the front of solar emissions will reach the Earth’s orbit on the night of Monday to Tuesday. causing a prolonged deterioration of the geomagnetic situation lasting about two days,” says head of the laboratory, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Sergey Bogachev.
According to observational data, the Earth will be covered by two clouds of plasma ejected from the active region of the Sun, located exactly opposite our planet. The peak of magnetic storms is expected in the middle of Tuesday, from 12 to 15 Moscow time. Their level will be G1-G2, that is, the second on a 5-point scale.
“Such a score is considered moderate, not causing serious consequences. At the same time, surprises cannot be ruled out,” notes Sergei Bogachev.
He recalls that magnetic storms are often accompanied by auroras. This time, the scientist estimates their probability in the European part of Russia at 30% for the night from Monday to Tuesday and at 20% for the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Looks like it’s started?
People who are weather dependent need to be especially careful these days. They may feel unwell and have mood and blood pressure changes. It is also possible that a magnetic storm will cause disruptions in the operation of shortwave radio communication systems. In subpolar latitudes, navigation interference may occur.
However, 2024 is just beginning. According to scientists’ forecast, this year the Sun should reach the peak of activity of its next cycle, which lasts on average about 11 years. This means that we can expect extremely strong flares and powerful magnetic storms throughout the year. And magnetic storms on Earth will occur several times a month.
But the star’s maximum activity will most likely be reached in the spring. Perhaps the Sun is just beginning its ascent to this peak.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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