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Home / Science / News /  Massive solar storm may hit Earth today at speed of 1.6 million kmph: Everything you need to know

The Earth could be impacted by a powerful high-speed solar storm, approaching at a speed of 1.6 million kilometers per hour, according to details shared by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa).

The storm originated from the Sun's atmosphere and can have a significant impact on a region of space dominated by Earth's magnetic field.

The solar storm, which is expected to lash the Earth today, can cause a major impact on the communication infrastructure.

It is likely to disrupt satellite signals and communication networks, as well as interfere with GPS navigation, mobile phone signal and satellite TV. It could also interfere with power transmission.

"THE SOLAR WIND IS COMING: Later today, a high-speed stream of solar wind is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. Flowing from an equatorial hole in the sun's atmosphere, wind speeds could top 500 km/s. Full-fledged geomagnetic storms are unlikely, but lesser geomagnetic unrest could spark high latitude auroras. Aurora alerts: SMS Text.", reads the post on Spaceweather.com.

What are solar storms

Solar storms are huge bursts of charged particles, ejected from the Sun's atmosphere into space.

Solar storms have their roots in an 11-year cycle that shifts the polarity of the Sun’s magnetic field. The magnetic forces at work on the sun get tangled during the process, and can punch out through the surface, sending the sun’s plasma into outer space and potentially triggering storms on Earth.

The most powerful geomagnetic storm ever recorded resulted in the 1859 Carrington Event, when telegraph lines electrified, zapping operators and setting offices ablaze in North America and Europe.

If a storm of that magnitude were to hit today, it would likely cut power to millions if not billions of people.

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