A giant fissure has opened across the sun and is spewing rapid solar winds toward our planet.
A combination of three images of the sun at different temperatures. The dark areas are the coronal holes, places where very little radiation is emitted, yet are the main source of solar wind particles.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory got wind of the massive hole Friday morning.
This coronal hole is a vast region where the sun’s magnetic field tears apart, allowing solar wind to escape.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this could whip up a “moderately strong” geomagnetic storm.
These kinds of storms are behind the beautiful natural phenomenon the Northern Lights.
But a storm of this magnitude could have an effect on power grids and navigation systems across the Earth’s surface.
G2 storms affect plane and military radio systems, spacecraft operations, and could trigger voltage alarms or cause equipment damage in power systems.
Scientists are growing increasingly concerned over the effect a solar explosion, flare or storm could have on humanity.
Our growing dependence on technology puts humans at a greater risk if power grids, planes and satellites stop working.
US President Barack Obama was forced to issue a chilling warning to the nation in preparation for devastating space storms earlier this year.
He said: “Extreme space weather events — those that could significantly degrade critical infrastructure — could disable large portions of the electrical power grid, resulting in cascading failures that would affect key services such as water supply, health care, and transportation.
“Space weather has the potential to simultaneously affect and disrupt health and safety across entire continents.”