Home News Get ready for solar storms to (maybe) light up the sky

Get ready for solar storms to (maybe) light up the sky

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A severe solar storm is brewing.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center released Friday issue a rare warning After the solar eruption reaches the earth.

Officials said solar activity could cause power outages or interfere with navigation and communications systems.

it also says Northern LightsThis is caused by the Sun expelling material from its surface and can be seen as far away as Alabama or Northern California, as well as in northern England.

Also known as the Northern Lights, these lights often look like an arc of green light.

According to authorities, the solar flare will be most active starting on Friday and may occur over the next few days.

When the sun undergoes a nuclear reaction, it typically expels material from its surface. This type of space weather produces auroras – also known as the Northern Lights and the Southern Lights (depending on which hemisphere you’re in).

Here’s the potential for disruption: When solar activity increases, emissions sent through the solar system can affect satellites in orbit close to Earth, as well as ground infrastructure, causing grid disruptions to navigation systems, radio communications and even electricity.

Officials said material ejected from the sun could reach the Earth’s atmosphere by Friday afternoon or evening. The latest eruption was first observed on Wednesday, with at least five blasts heading towards Earth.

“What we expect over the next few days should be more important than what we’ve seen, certainly so far,” Mike Bettway, chief of operations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center, said at a news conference Friday. indicated above.

We are currently experiencing a Category 4 (severe) solar storm.

According to NOAA, there have been only three storms of this magnitude since 2019. Its statement is even rarer: It has not issued such a warning since 2005.

By the way, this is not the highest level of solar storm.besides Level 5, extreme.

The current storm is caused by a cluster of sunspots – dark, cool areas on the sun’s surface. The cluster burns and ejects material every 6 to 12 hours.

“We expect we’re going to get one shock after another throughout the weekend,” said Brent Gordon, chief of the space weather services branch at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The warning isn’t really for the public, so just go about your day as normal. (Unless maybe look up at the night sky a little longer.)

“For most people on Earth, they don’t have to do anything,” said Rob Steenberg, a space scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center. “If everything works fine, the grid will be stable and they will be able to continue their daily lives.”

If you’re in a place with a lot of bright lights (like a city), you’ll have a hard time seeing anything.

There are other complicating factors, such as weather. The Northeast is likely to be covered by clouds Friday night.

In the Midwest, skies may clear as the storm system passes.

With solar storm activity so intense, lights are possible as far south as northern Alabama and Georgia, where relatively clear night skies are expected.

However, viewing conditions can be relatively poor in the southern Plains and Rockies. On the West Coast, weather should stay relatively cloudless, which may make for good viewing.

Some lights may also be visible outside the United States.

According to the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre, there is a good chance of seeing the lights in areas across northern England.

“The weather is expected to be clear and there is a good chance of seeing the Aurora over the northern half of the UK.” The agency said on social media.

According to the Met Office, nights are short at this time of year – sunset in Scotland today will be at 9:14pm and sunrise at 5:12am – so the duration of any sightings may be limited.

Finally, a tip: If you’re in a clear area, or even south of the aurora forecast site, you can use your phone to take photos or record video.

Sensors on cameras are more sensitive to the wavelengths produced by auroras, potentially producing images that are invisible to the naked eye.

katrina miller and Judson Jones Contributed reporting.

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