If you face suddenly bad mobile connectivity and blackouts in GPS connectivity through the day today, blame the sun. According to NASA, the premier American space agency, one of the largest solar storms in recent times is set to hit Earth at some point of time, and the consequences can be quite serious. The impact of the storm may cause bad mobile connectivity, and also take out electricity grids as well as high frequency radio communication around the world. As a result, it is likely for many to face sudden communication blackouts through the day today.
The reason behind this is a flare from the equatorial area of the sun, which was first detected from Earth on July 3. Solar flares aren’t exactly new – the violent surface of our star often creates flares, which leads to storms of solar particles that can extend through our solar system. When this storm of charged solar particles reaches Earth, it reacts with our planet’s atmosphere and magnetic field, and it is this reaction that in a mild form creates the glorious aurora borealis – the northern lights that people pay millions to travel to northern nations to see.
However, while mild solar storms are regular occurrences, it’s not always mild and benevolent. In the past, various astronomers have often warned about severe solar storms and their potential to create bad mobile connectivity – something that can essentially bring down global communication systems. NASA itself classifies solar storms into five forms of intensity – A, B, C, M and X, and the one slated to hit us today qualifies as X1. As a result, certain parts of the world may well face blackouts, since satellites in Earth’s upper atmosphere may behave erratically due to the storm.
Given that the world relies heavily on satellite communications today for connectivity people and offering features such as GPS navigation, it remains to be seen exactly how serious are the consequences of the upcoming solar storm. Cities situated in higher latitudes are also expected to get to see vivid aurora borealis in the skies today.
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