A solar storm that could damage power supplies, affect satellite TVs and trigger auroras is set to slam the Earth’s atmosphere today.
Scientists say that a huge hole has opened up in the sun’s corona, with auroras set to cover swathes of North America and the UK.
Fast moving solar winds are created where the star’s magnetic field opens up into space, captured as vast black regions in satellite imagery.
Charged particles have now made their way out into the solar system and begun to hit the atmosphere of our planet.
The charged, magnetic particles from the solar storm can interfere with machinery in Earth’s orbit as well as at the planet’s surface, such as GPS systems and radio signals.
They can also threaten airlines by disturbing Earth’s magnetic field.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a storm watch for a G2-level solar storm which is considered ‘moderate’ on the 5-level scale (5 is the highest).
Geomagnetic storms are ranked on a severity scale, with G at the bottom, R in the middle and S at the top.
‘A G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storm watch has been issued for 11 Sep 2018 due to the anticipated onset of coronal hole high speed stream’, the space weather centre predicted, meaning it is a fairly minor storm.
One of the more pleasant effects is that the aurora borealis, or northern lights, may be visible at high latitudes in the US and UK.