Mysterious shock wave CRACKS Earth’s magnetosphere that protects our planet from dangerous space radiation
- A shock wave barreled into Earth’s magnetic field and cracked its magnetosphere, which protects our planet from space radiation
- While the shock wave’s origin is unknown, scientists believe it came from a crackling sunspot that released eight solar flares on December 14
- The crack can stay open for hours and allow solar winds to flow through
A shock wave barreled toward Earth last night that cracked its magnetosphere, the region that shields our planet from harmful radiation.
The origin of the shockwave is unknown, but astronomers believe it came from an ejection of energetic and highly magnetized, superheated gas released from the sun – also known as a coronal mass ejection (CME).
The ejection may have been released from sunspot AR3165, which launched at least eight solar flares into space on December 14 that caused blackouts over the Atlantic Ocean, according to Space Weather.
While scientists are not sounding the alarm just yet, a crack can stay open for hours and let solar winds flow through.
The sunspot was observed crackling on December 14 and then released an M6-class explosion that hit Earth.
A mysterious shock wave hit Earth’s magnetic field and cracked the region that protects our planet from space radiation. While the shock wave’s origin is unknown, scientists believe it came from our sun
M-class flares are categorized as medium-sized. These events, however, can cause brief radio blackouts – and the one last week did so over the Atlantic.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a probe studying Earth’s sun, captured the eruptions from the sunspot – a dark region cooler than other parts of the surface – that shot out streams of plasma, one after another.
Bright flashes of light were seen coming from the sunspot, the likely culprit that sent the shock wave toward Earth.
Earth’s magnetic field is WEAKENING between Africa and South America, causing satellites and spacecraft to malfunction
Researchers speculate that the weakening is a sign that Earth is heading to a pole reversal, which is when the north and south poles switch places – and the last time this occurred was 780,000 years ago.
Shock waves occur when a fast-moving pulse of solar wind plows through the slow-moving solar wind and consists of compressed and heated gasses.
CMEs can eject billions of tons of corona material from the sun’s surface. The material consists of plasma and magnetic fields.
Such eruptions have the potential to trigger space weather that can interfere with satellites and power grids on Earth and can be harmful to unprotected astronauts.
Earth’s magnetosphere is located in its magnetic field, which extends thousands of miles into space and its magnetism affects everything from global communication to animal migration and weather patterns.
The current crack sets the stage for possible G1-class geomagnetic storms.
A geomagnetic storm is a significant disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth.
However, G1-class is the weakest of all the storms.
Earth’s sun has been experiencing heightened activity in 2022, having fired off its most powerful solar flare for five years in April.
The sun appears to be moving into an active period of its 11-year cycle of activity that begun in 2019 and is expected to peak in 2025.
Solar flares were released from the sun on December 14 that caused blackouts over the Atlantic Ocean
Solar flares – bursts of electromagnetic radiation that travel at the speed of light – usually reach our planet within eight minutes of emerging from the sun’s atmosphere.
The most powerful category is X flares, followed by M class ones, which are the ones observed on December 14.
Solar physicist Keith Strong shared on Twitter: ‘THREE MORE M FLARES: An M6, M3 and M2 all from AR3165.
‘That makes 8 M flares so far today. They seem to be getting bigger, is an X flare in the offing? Stay tuned.’
The ejection may have been released from sunspot AR3165 (bottom right), which launched at least eight
Earth’s magnetic field protects us from harmful radiation released form the sun
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