(Update and clarification: This story had earlier carried the headline 'Magnetic storm this weekend will have massive impact on humans and telecommunication.' It was based on some erroneous interpretation of data. We regret the error.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has clarified that the reports of a massive magnetic storm are exaggerated.  Read that report here.)

Read the original report below:

  • A massive magnetic storm will hit Earth on March 18.
  • Magnetic storms generally disrupt telecommunication system.
  • Some of them also affect living organisms by changing blood flow.
  • Some people can feel sick and tired during this time.

Brace yourselves, fellow Earthlings, we are about to face a massive magnetic storm. The Russian Academy of Sciences has said, as reported by denofgeek.com, that the storm will hit Earth on March 18 and will affect the planet's geomagnetic atmosphere.

Magnetic storms generally affect telecommunication systems — upsetting radio communications, causing radar blackouts, and disrupting radio navigation system. However, some also affect humans and other living organisms by changing blood flow, blood pressure, and boosting adrenalin, according to spacedaily.com.

Russian scientists claim, as reported by denofgeek.com, that March 18 magnetic storm may cause headaches, dizziness and sleep disturbances for some people across the globe.

What is this magnetic storm?

Solar flare
[Picture for representation]NASA/GSFC/SDO

Magnetic storms, also known as geomagnetic storms or solar storms, are a temporary disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere [which is the region around a planet where charged particles are affected by its magnetic field] caused when there is an efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind [which is actually a stream of charged particles released from the Sun's corona].

This magnetic storm will be the third one to hit the Earth since 2018.

Other effects of magnetic storms

Magnetic storms are known to mess up the power grids. Engineers are advised to shut down non-essential systems and prepare for a possible power grid fluctuation whenever a severe storm hits. For the February 15 storm, Local 10 reported that Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) had switched from their primary operational spacecraft Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

Auroras, which are sometimes referred as polar light, is a natural display of lights across the sky. It happens when the Earth comes in the way of a solar wind and its charged particles start striking atoms and molecules present in the magnetosphere of the planet, causing them to light up.

European Union's Joint Research Centre (JRC) said powerful solar storms have the capabilities to negatively impact crucial navigation and control systems across the continent's railway network.

"Railway networks could be affected in case of an extreme space weather event due to the direct impact on system components, such as track circuits or electronics, or indirectly via dependencies on power, communications, and progressively on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) for timing and positioning," ScienceAlert reported, quoting JRC.

The biggest solar storm in the history hit the Earth in 1859 and was known as Carrington Event. It damaged electric equipment like telegraph stations across the world. Even sparks were seen shooting out of equipment, according to several telegraph operators. Auroras were seen from places where they are not generally seen from, reported denofgeek.com.