KEY POINTS

  • Solar winds are currently affecting Earth's magnetic field
  • Northern lights appeared over Norway and the Arctic Circle
  • Minor solar flares are expected to hit Earth

A space weather forecasting site reported that Earth is currently being battered by solar winds and X-ray solar flares. These cosmic events are currently affecting the planet’s magnetic field, causing geomagnetic unrest in certain regions on Earth.

The current solar event was detected by the forecasting site SpaceWeather.com. According to the site, the solar storm is currently affecting regions in the northern hemisphere.

The site reported that a stream of solar winds is currently affecting Earth’s magnetic field. These winds are reportedly moving at an incredible speed of almost 910,000 miles per hour. SpaceWeather.com reported that due to the presence of charged particles from solar winds in the magnetic field, certain regions on Earth are experiencing geomagnetic unrest.

Fortunately, the solar winds affecting Earth are only minor. Although they are causing geomagnetic unrest, they are not powerful enough to cause a surge in the power lines, which would lead to wide-scale blackouts.

Instead, the effects of the solar winds on Earth’s magnetic field are causing an incredible light show over areas in the northern hemisphere. The site noted that the cosmic lights, known as aurora borealis, appeared over Norway and the Arctic Circle.

“A minor stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field and this is causing geomagnetic unrest around the Arctic Circle,” the site stated. “Last night in Helligskogen, Norway, the wind's effect was obvious in the midnight sky.”

Aside from solar winds, SpaceWeather.com noted that Earth would also get hit by X-ray solar flares from the Sun. As explained by the site, solar flares are produced by explosions on the Sun’s surface. They occur when the Sun’s magnetic field suddenly releases a burst of energy.

“A solar flare is an explosion on the Sun that happens when energy stored in twisted magnetic fields (usually above sunspots) is suddenly released,” the site explained. “Flares produce a burst of radiation across the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to x-rays and gamma-rays.”

According to the forecasting site, the solar flares will reach Earth on March 4 at around 6:52 pm EST. They are expected to affect Earth for a maximum of 6 hours. Based on the data gathered by SpaceWeather.com, the approaching solar flares are not powerful enough to cause radio disruptions or blackouts. They also most likely won’t affect satellites orbiting Earth.

X-Class Solar Flare An X-class solar flare captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Feb. 24, 2014. Photo: NASA/SDO