Earth could be plunged into darkness tomorrow, with solar winds having the power to affect satellites, knocking out GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV such as Sky. A surge of particles can also lead to high currents in the magnetosphere, which can lead to higher than normal electricity in power lines, resulting in electrical transformers and power stations blow outs and a loss of power. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says there is a 45 percent chance that a solar storm could hit Earth.
This is because magnetism has erupted from the sun’s surface, unleashing cosmic radiation into deep space.
For the most part, the Earth’s magnetic field protects humans from the barrage of radiation but it looks as if Earth is in line of the stream of cosmic particles, and scientists say we should see evidence of it tomorrow, December 5.
Website Space Weather says: “NOAA forecasters say there is a 45% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on December 5 when a coronal mass ejection (CME) is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field.
“CMEs are rare during solar minimum because their usual launching pads – that is, sunspots – are absent.
“This one was produced not by a sunspot, but rather by a filament of magnetism erupting from the sun's southern hemisphere.
“CMEs are very good at producing auroras, so even a glancing blow could light up the Arctic Circle this Wednesday night.”
The solar storm could result in Southern or Northern Lights – or aurora australis and aurora borealis – depending on which hemisphere the solar winds hit.
As the magnetosphere gets bombarded by solar winds, stunning blue lights can appear over the upper reaches of the Northern hemisphere and the lower parts of the southern hemisphere.
While this storm is not expected to be overly powerful, the Met Office has warned that we will face a monumental solar storm in the future, which could knock out Britain’s technology and cost the UK almost £16billion in damages.
The country could be blunged into a blackout because it is not prepared enough for powerful solar storms, the Met Office told ministers.
The weather forecaster believes the UK does not have sufficient infrastructure to prepare ourselves for such an event.
A researcher from the Met Office said: “We find that for a one-in-100-year event, with no space weather forecasting capability, the gross domestic product loss to the United Kingdom could be as high as £15.9bn.
“With existing satellites nearing the end of their life, forecasting capability will decrease in coming years, so if no further investment takes place, critical infrastructure will become more vulnerable to space weather.”