If your GPS-driven panel functions seem glitchy this week the cause might be a Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and it’s as sinister as it sounds. The sun is reaching the end of Solar Cycle 25, which means solar flares and their resulting mayhem on radio transmissions is nearing a peak. According to datacenterdynamics there have already been some disruptions from solar flares but space weather geeks are now bracing for a Cannibal CME, which could damage gear on satellites and on the ground. Apparently one just missed Earth on Tuesday and there’s a good chance another will be unleashed in the next few days.
CMEs occur when tumultuous forces on the sun’s surface turn into a release of billions of tons of charged plasma, which is what the sun is made of, into space. Sometimes a second release of plasma blows off the sun at a higher speed than the earlier one and engulfs the first one, hence the Cannibal label. The result is a much more powerful release. It’s apparently happened before and the systems have recovered, but at least some disruption of equipment, particularly gear operating at 5 MHz and below, is possible.