Over the weekend, Earth was hit by a geomagnetic storm, which shocked scientists because unlike other solar storms, this one does not appear to originate from a solar flare. Usually, these storms occur due to major outbursts that occur on the surface of the Sun, called solar flares. These flares themselves are caused by the entanglement, crossing, or rearrangement of the star’s magnetic field lines.
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Minutes after exploding, solar flares charge particles onto the Sun and heat them to millions of degrees, producing a burst of radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to X-rays and gamma rays.
The most recent solar storm came during a rare alignment of five planets, giving photographers a great opportunity to photograph them against the bright auroras that are common during these space weather events.
Since the storm took place over the weekend, astronomers now believe that this event occurred due to a co-rotating interaction region (CIR), which is a much rarer phenomenon than a solar flare.
CIRs are created when two solar winds moving at different speeds meet, because the faster winds then begin to overtake the slower ones.