Advertisement

Updated January 22nd, 2024 at 23:34 IST

Facing GPS, Network Disruption on Phone? It Could be Solar Storm Hitting Earth Today

The solar flare is an extreme weather event that leads to emission of solar X-ray and extreme ultraviolet irradiance interfering with the ionosphere.

Solar Storm Sun GPS Flares Sun
Mild solar storms can cause more serious problems to GPS satellites. | Image:NASA/AP
Advertisement

If you’re facing disruption to the GPS, network and radio systems, it could be due to the sudden surge of the solar flares across the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in a geomagnetic storm today. Solar flares, according to NASA, are powerful bursts of energy and the solar flares and eruptions impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts.

On Sunday, a powerful magnetic filament erupted from the sun that resulted in the coronal mass ejection (CME) to collide with our planet Earth at around 1 p.m. ET or 11:30 p.m. IST, according to NASA and NOAA. This CME collision has led to geomagnetic storms that was as powerful as the G2-class or even G3-class. This caused issues with the GPS system, and satellites.

Advertisement
Artist illustration of events on the sun changing the conditions in Near-Earth space. (NASA)

Ionospheric issues primary source of disruption during solar flares 

The ionospheric issues is regarded as the primary source of disruption to the Global Navigation Satellite System, which is integral in the solar-terrestrial space. The solar activities such as the flares and solar storms cause disturbances in the ionosphere further causing issues with Global Positioning System/BeiDou satellite navigation System/Galileo (GPS/BDS/GALILEO) BIMs. It is the Earth's upper atmosphere located at about 60- to 2,000-km altitude. 

Advertisement

The solar flare is an extreme weather event that leads to emission of solar X-ray and extreme ultraviolet irradiance interfering with the ionosphere. The storms occur frequently as the sun’s activities constantly wane and waxes. Overall, there is moderate impact on the human sustenance on Earth.

Satellites of the US Global Positioning System get frequently battered by charged particles from the sun. (NASA)

"Direct Hit! An impressive #solarstorm launch in the Earth-strike zone means a new chance for #aurora by midday Jan 22. We could see a G2-G3 with this one if the magnetic field of the storm is oriented correctly. Amateur radio & #GPS users, expect disruptions on Earth's nightside," space weather physicist Tamitha SkoV, said on X, formerly Twitter. As per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the geomagnetic storms “can impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on the surface, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio, and satellite operations.” The G3 magnitude storm is considered to the worst case scenario, while the G1 is the weakest and G5 the strongest storm level.

Advertisement

Published January 22nd, 2024 at 23:34 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo