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High speed solar storm likely to hit Earth on Monday; GPS, cell phone signals may get affected

Kathmandu: A solar storm approaching against earth at a speed of 1.6 million kilometers per hour, may hit the Earth’s atmosphere either on Monday or during the last few intervening hours of Sunday and Monday. The solar storm emerging out of the sun’s surface may have an impact on Earth’s magnetic field and thus affecting the Global Positioning System (GPS) as well as cell phone signals.

Reports say that a hole has opened up in the Sun’s atmosphere, due to which a stream of charged particles and high-speed solar winds have charged out of Sun’s surface. Scientists say that some “highly charged particles” approaching earth as part of Sun-originated solar storm, may penetrate into the Earth’s atmosphere near the north and the south poles respectively.

“When energetic protons collide with satellites or humans in space, they can penetrate deep into the object that they collide with and cause damage to electronic circuits or biological DNA,” Space Weather prediction said in a press statement on Saturday.

Celestial lighting on poles

As per the website, there will be a view of beautiful celestial lighting at the North and South poles respectively. It added that the outer atmosphere of the Earth could be heated due to solar storms which may have an effect on several communication and navigation satellites around Earth’s surface.

How long do the solar storms last?

According to NASA, solar storms can last only a few minutes to several hours but the effects of geomagnetic storms can linger in the Earth’s magnetosphere and atmosphere for days to weeks.

Solar storms: Historical impact

Historically, solar storms have been known to throw parts of the world into a system of confusion and chaos where public navigation and communication become difficult.

A solar storm in March 1989 caused a nine-hour blackout of Hydro-Québec's electricity transmission system in Canada.

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