Between 2019 and 2020, the Sun would go through a period of very low activity. That’s normal in the life cycle of our host star which, once every 11-12 years, enters the so-called solar maximum phase which is followed by a stage of minimum activity. During this period, solar storms are more prevalent than usual. Now, NASA warned that a devastating solar storm might hit Earth in 2020.
During its minimum activity phase, the Sun is not bursting solar flares or boasting spots, but that doesn’t mean the star is “hibernating.” Everything goes as usual inside the Sun. Also, in periods of very low activity, our host star gives way to Coronal Mass Ejections through the Sun’s magnetosphere.
Coronal Mass Ejections are throwing vast amounts of charged particles and radiation to space, and the Earth could be hit if the emissions are in our direction.
NASA Warned That A Devastating Solar Storm Might Hit Earth in 2020
“We see these holes throughout the solar cycle but during solar minimum they can last for a long time – six months or more. During solar minimum, the Sun’s magnetic field weakens and provides less shielding from these cosmic rays. This can pose an increased threat to astronauts traveling through space,” said Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
“While the storms create beautiful aurora, they also can disrupt navigation systems such as the Global Navigation Satellite System and create harmful geomagnetic induced currents in the power grid and pipelines,” explained the US Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), referring to the effects a solar storm might have on our world.
This Monday, the experts warned that a hole opened up in the Sun’s corona, and it’s facing the Earth. Solar storms would hit the Earth today, but we won’t sense them since they are too small. But a devastating solar storm might hit Earth in 2020 as the Sun closes to the end of its minimum activity period.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.