Solar flare 'could sideswipe Earth' TODAY sparking power grid fluctuating geomagnetic storm

SPACE experts are predicting that a solar flare could "side swipe" Earth today.

When a solar flare hits the Earth's magnetic field, it can result in a solar storm that affects the power grid and radio communication.

Experts at stated: "A beautiful solar flare (M4-class) on April 29th hurled a CME into space. It might sideswipe Earth today.

"The glancing blow, if it occurs, could spark a minor G1-class geomagnetic storm on May 2nd or 3rd."

A CME is a type of solar flare a coronal mass ejection.

It's essentially a huge expulsion of plasma from the Sun's outer layer, called the corona.

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This mass ejection of particles from the Sun travels through space and the Earth uses its magnetic field to protect us from it.

Each solar storm that hits Earth is graded by severity and this one is only expected to be a "G1 minor".

This means it could cause weak power grid fluctuations and have a small impact on satellite communications.

Fortunately, solar storms aren't thought to be dangerous to humans on Earth.

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They are something astronauts will want to take into consideration if preparing for a spacewalk.

The International Space Station is able to protect astronauts from the dangerous radiation of solar winds.

A G1 storm can also confuse migrating animals that rely on the Earth's magnetic field for a sense of direction.

One good thing about solar storms is that they can produce very pretty natural light displays like the Northern Lights.

Those natural light displays are called auroras and are examples of the Earth's magnetosphere getting bombarded by solar wind, which creates the pretty green and blue displays.

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The Earth's magnetic field helps to protect us from the more extreme consequences of solar flares but it can't stop all of them.

In 1989, a strong solar eruption shot so many electrically charged particles at Earth that the Canadian Province of Quebec lost power for nine hours.

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