Solar Storm to Hit Earth. Will We See the Aurora Borealis?

Bessie Dean
March 14, 2018

These storms could turn out to be extremely risky because they can disrupt telecommunications, navigation, and electrical power around the Earth.

A solar storm's magnetic particles could also interfere with satellites orbiting the planet and radio signals.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) refuted reports that a substantial storm will disrupt telecommunication systems over the weekend.

AN INCREASE in geomagnetic activity has some experts concerned that the solar storm expected to hit Earth tomorrow could wreak havoc - but is it that big a deal?

Even though a G1 minor geomagnetic storm on March 18 is nothing to worry about, on the other hand, a massive storm, such as one originally reported yesterday, could carry risky consequences.

NOAA says the incoming solar storm is expected to be a G-1 "minor" storm. As per NOAA, news portals across the globe misinterpreted the graph published by the Russian Academy of Science and misunderstood a feeble G1 category of the storm into a massive storm.

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'A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth, ' said the Space Weather Prediction Center. The largest of these storms are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), huge expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun's corona, or outer atmosphere.

Usually, geomagnetic storms are cataloged in 5 different main levels depending on the magnitude, from G1 to G5 levels of geomagnetic storms' magnitudes.

The strongest flares though can have an impact across the whole planet, triggering widespread radio blackouts and long-lasting storms - affecting Global Positioning System signals, radio communications and power grids.

And if you're far enough north, or perhaps in Antarctica (hi there!), you may get to feast your eyes on the aurora as the charged particles channelled towards the poles by Earth's magnetic field interact with the ionosphere. According to NASA, the lights could reach as far south as ME and northern MI. One storm occurred in 1859, while the latter occurred in 1989, which resulted in a nine-hour blackout in Canada.

At other times, there might be less than one solar storm per week.

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