THE WEATHER in space is getting hectic.
A solar storm was set to graze the Earth in March 2022 as Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publicize findings.
A solar storm, or geomagnetic storm, affects Earth when ejections from the Sun reach the ionosphere - the border of outer space and our atmosphere.
The "cloud of protons and electrons" collides with Earth's magnetic field and contorts it, causing events like the Northern Lights.
Though solar storms sound serious - and they can be - NOAA published an even-tempered list of "potential impacts" of this solar storm, which is not major in scope.
They wrote, "an enhancement in the energetic portion of the solar radiation spectrum may indicate increased biological risk to astronauts or passengers and crew in high latitude, high altitude flights."
People are exposed to trace amounts of radiation from space - called cosmic radiation - on each flight.
However, flights that are high-altitude and far from the equator are at higher risk during a solar storm because the magnetic field will push radiation toward the poles.
"This information should be used in conjunction with the current Solar Radiation Storm conditions when assessing overall impact," the short report concluded.
Man-made hardware in orbit may be at risk as well.
"Energetic particles may represent an increased risk to all satellite systems susceptible to single event effects," NOAA wrote.
BURNED UP: Just last month, a batch of Elon Musk's Starlink satellites were doomed by cosmic weather - the satellites crashed back to the Earth after being caught up in a solar storm.
CNBC reported that satellites may be at higher risk in the future as the Sun heads toward a phase where solar flares will be more common.
NOAA and Nasa are conflicted on when exactly the latest solar storm will hit Earth - there is an 18-hour gap in the two agencies' predictions.
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