KEY POINTS

  • A stream of solar winds is currently hitting Earth
  • The cosmic weather might cause auroras in the sky
  • A powerful solar storm could trigger extensive power outages

A space weather forecasting site confirmed that Earth is currently getting battered by a stream of solar winds. Although the event most likely won’t trigger a violent geomagnetic storm, it could create stunning light shows in the sky.

The current cosmic phenomenon happening outside Earth was reported by the forecasting site SpaceWeather.com. The site previously predicted that Earth was about to get hit by solar winds from March 30 to 31.

As predicted by the site, a stream of solar winds has been detected outside Earth’s magnetic field. Like other solar emissions, solar winds are released from the corona, which is the Sun’s upper atmosphere. They contain highly-charged particles that can affect the magnetic field of Earth.

SpaceWeather.com noted that the stream of solar winds currently battering Earth are minor and will not cause a geomagnetic storm powerful enough to affect electric and communication devices on the planet. Instead, the solar winds will cause a natural light show over the Arctic Circle, which is referred to as Aurora Borealis.

“As predicted, a stream of solar wind is buffeting Earth's magnetic field today, March 30th,” the site stated. “Full-fledged geomagnetic storms are not expected, but the action of the solar wind could spark dynamic auroras around the Arctic Circle. The gaseous material is slowing from a southern hole in the sun's atmosphere.”

Although the current solar storm affecting Earth is not harmless, experts have been warning about the potential effects of powerful solar emissions on Earth. According to U.K.-based insurance firm Lloyd’s, there’s a chance that the Carrington Event could happen again.

This incident occurred in 1859 after a powerful solar storm triggered wide-scale power outages. According to Lloyd’s if this kind of event happens today, the effects would be more devastating simply because of Earth’s dependency on modern technology.

As indicated in a report released by the firm, a powerful solar storm would affect millions of people in the U.S. alone It would also trigger blackouts that could last for two years.

“The total U.S. population at risk of extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between 20-40 million, with durations of 16 days to 1-2 years,” the report stated. “The duration of outages will depend largely on the availability of spare replacement transformers.”

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