Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

A solar storm could be headed for Earth today: What you need to know

Published Jan 23rd, 2024 1:26PM EST
A big sun surface with solar flares.
Image: joelia / Adobe

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Earth could be in store for a solar storm today, reports seem to indicate. According to Earth.com, radio blackouts were detected yesterday after a solar storm hit the Earth; another could be following it up today. The second storm, which is moving in a side-sweeping pattern out from the Sun, isn’t set to hit Earth head-on.

But that doesn’t mean we won’t get anything from it. According to tweets from Dr. Tamitha Skov, two solar storms launched near Region 3555 on January 20. The first hit us head-on on January 22, but the second could give us a glancing blow. Further, Dr. Skov says that an unstable filament on the Sun could launch more solar storms our way.

It’s still unclear if the second wave of energy from the sun will hit Earth today, but if it does, it is likely to cause some radio blackouts somewhere across the planet. During these blackouts, signals between the 3 to 30 MHz band are usually the most susceptible, and we have seen issues with GPS and other signals in the past, too.

Solar storms hitting Earth can also bring about various phenomena like northern lights, or aurora borealis, which happen when the energy from the solar storm interacts with certain parts of Earth’s atmosphere.

Solar flares like the ones that caused yesterday’s solar storm and today’s possible storm are only going to get more frequent, too, as scientists believe we are heading towards our solar maximum, when the sun is at its most volatile. During this time, more sunspots appear, and the surface of the sun becomes more unstable, releasing more flares and other pulses of energy.

These most recent events are expected to create auroras across multiple states, including South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Wyoming.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

More Science