Experts say a solar storm that passed Earth recently could create problems for the country’s satellites and power grid.
The nearby solar flare chased the dense plasma towards Earth, triggering geomagnetic storms in at least two US states, according to weather data.
The July 1 CME blow is part of a series of solar storms as the Sun goes through a period of heightened activity.
A CME is a solar flare called a coronal mass ejection, which is a huge expulsion of plasma from the outer layer of the Sun, called the corona.
This massive ejection of particles from the Sun travels through space and the Earth uses its magnetic field to protect us from it.
SpaceWeather.com experts reported:
“A CME passed close to Earth on July 1. It did not directly hit our planet’s magnetic field.
Scientists had predicted that a “near miss” could have implications for the earth’s magnetic field.
“Instead, it made a name for itself by ‘snow clearing’ dense plasma in our direction,” SpaceWeather.com experts said.
According to the website, in upper Midwestern states like Minnesota and further west in Washington State, there were some issues.
In these states, SpaceWeather.com says:
“The near miss caused a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm with auroras.”
Auroras are one of the positive aspects of solar storms.
The most famous example is that of the aurora borealis.
These natural light displays are examples of Earth’s magnetosphere being bombarded by the solar wind, which creates pretty green and blue shapes in the sky.
Earth’s magnetic field helps protect us from the most extreme consequences of solar ejections and flares, but it cannot stop them all.
When a solar ejection hits the Earth directly, it can cause a strong solar storm.
This can cause problems with the power grid, satellite communications, and even radio power outages.
In 1989, a strong solar flare hurled so many electrically charged particles onto Earth that the Canadian province of Quebec lost power for nine hours.
This story originally appeared on The sun and has been reproduced here with permission.