SPACE weather experts have their eye on a mysterious burst of solar radiation that could “sideswipe” Earth today.
The coronal mass ejection –a massive eruption of superhot material – was fired from the Sun on June 26.
A coronal mass ejection is also referred to as a CME.
It’s a huge expulsion of plasma from the Sun’s outer layer, called the corona.
Space scientists aren’t sure whether the CME will hit Earth but predict it has a chance on either June 28 or June 29.
Experts at SpaceWeather.com explained: “There is a chance of minor geomagnetic storms on June 28th and 29th when CMEs might sideswipe or even directly hit Earth’s magnetic field.
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“This is a low confidence forecast. A confusing mishmash of overlapping CMEs left the sun in recent days, especially on June 26th, and it has been difficult to determine their trajectories.”
The strength of the potential solar storm has not been estimated, but it is believed to be low and therefore poses no threat to humanity.
However, even weaker solar storms can cause weak power grid fluctuations and have a small impact on our tech.
They can also impact satellite communications.
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Strong solar flares are also known to cause radio blackouts and can knock power grids offline for hours at a time.
Solar storms can also confuse migrating animals that rely on the Earth’s magnetic field for a sense of direction.
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In 1989, a strong solar eruption shot so many electrically charged particles at Earth that the Canadian Province of Quebec lost power for nine hours.
As well as causing issues for our tech on Earth, they can be deadly for an astronaut if they result in injury or interfere with mission control communications.