Geomagnetic solar storm on Earth: Everything you need to know

Geomagnetic solar storm on Earth: Everything you need to know

When a solar storm strikes it usually creates a spectacular "Northern Lights" display in parts of the atmosphere that can be seen in areas close to the Arctic Circle.

But that's not the full story.

"National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has at last spoken out regarding the 'massive magnetic storm" expected to hit Earth on March 18 and said there will be nothing like what we had expected.

Stargazers do not need telescopes to see the Aurora Borealis with the incredible colours visible to the naked eye. Rutledge went on to say that he's unsure what "equinox cracks" are, and that the SWPC doesn't use that term. When compared to 1859, yet another similarly intense storm was seen in 2012 which disrupted power grids, however, it was not too risky since it flyby near Earth with a margin of nine days. Meteorologists are predicting a G1-level storm - the lowest level on the solar storm scale, which peaks at G5.

The sun is actually pretty quiet at the moment. This basically means there could be some slight glitches to satellite communications and power grid controllers.

But the consequences of the storm could be far more serious than the appearance of the Northern Lights.

Geomagnetic storms are caused by high levels of radiation which are shot by intense solar events like Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) or other solar events. "Transformers may experience damage". Still, the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado says the famous Northern Lights could be seen across Canada and the northernmost parts of the USA such as ME and MI.

Charged particles from that flare are now on their way to our planet - and are predicted to hit today. The cracks, which are said to stay open for hours, create weaknesses in Earth's natural defenses and could leave GPS systems and commercial flights more exposed to the damaging effects of a solar storm.

NOAA officials also reported that all that has started from a misreading of the geomagnetic storms charts released online by the Russian Lebedev Institute. Note that there are certain beliefs associated with solar storms that aren't proved yet as per which, these storms can cause headaches, sleeplessness, and dizziness too.

A truly massive solar storm, which would likely be caused by charged particles from a solar eruption sent out toward Earth, could, in fact, knock out parts of the electrical grid for months at a time.