Solar storm could disrupt communications and produce northern lights in US

A strong solar storm heading towards Earth could produce northern lights in the US and potentially disrupt communications this weekend.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a rare geomagnetic storm watch – the first in nearly 20 years.

The watch starts on Friday and lasts all weekend.

The NOAA said the sun produced strong solar flares beginning on Wednesday, resulting in five outbursts of plasma capable of disrupting satellites in orbit and power grids here on Earth.

Each eruption – known as a coronal mass ejection – can contain billions of tons of solar plasma.

The NOAA is calling this an unusual event, pointing out that the flares seem to be associated with a sunspot that is 16 times the diameter of Earth.

An extreme geomagnetic storm in 2003 took out power in Sweden and damaged power transformers in South Africa.

The latest storm could produce northern lights as far south in the US as Alabama and northern California, according to the NOAA.


No votes yet.
Please wait...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *