An unexpected solar storm has hit Earth in the past few days, causing no damage, but only unexpected auroras. NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory instruments revealed Sunday, and the reasons why it happened are still not fully understood.
A testament to the amount of work left to fully understand space weather whose storms can cause serious economic damage to space infrastructures such as satellites. The first signs of a solar storm hitting the Earth’s magnetic field were recorded on Sunday morning and within a few hours the solar wind had grown to more than 600 kilometers per second, resulting in a geomagnetic storm known as Category G2, on Sunday. A scale ranging from G1 to G5, where 5 is the maximum level.
Despite significant progress in recent decades in the study of space weather, “the event was unexpected,” explains SpaceWeather, one of the reference sites specialized in the sector. The storm was caused by the so-called solar wind, which is an outpouring of particles and plasma emanating from the surface of the Sun which at this time is in a phase of full activity.
Since it was a rather weak event, there were no consequences for the satellites and devices in orbit, but only to protect them there was a very accurate weather forecast service for space weather for some time. “The flow of the solar wind that generated this event is a bit of a mystery,” continues SpaceWeather, stressing that there is still much to understand about our star. However, many Northern Lights fans enjoyed the event because the storm produced clearly visible ‘dancing lights’, despite it being summer, even from Denmark and Pennsylvania.
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