These days, a solar storm is hitting the Earth. According to the U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the sun on Sunday triggered a series of explosions that are moving toward our planet, reports CBS News.
One of these bursts, called a coronal mass emission (EMC), is expected to collide with and engulf another emission, creating what is known as a cannibalistic ECM event. According to The Weather Channel, these events can trigger powerful geomagnetic storms.
The U.S. government expected the emissions to hit Earth during Thursday and Friday.
wow, simply spectacular first a filament comes out and seconds later the eruption of the AR3078. 😎🙃😎@TamithaSkov @swmcintosh @chunder10 @NightLights_AM @JimWindweather @Magnetodawn pic.twitter.com/PMVVvPhE91
— Industrial Engineer Irene Quiroz (@nenecallas) August 19, 2022
Geomagnetic storms are measured on a scale of G1 to G5, with the last level being extreme. In such cases, there would be widespread problems with voltage regulation, and some power grids could fail completely or power outages could occur, the specialized agency said.
In a G3 storm, as is currently forecast, some power systems would need to be corrected, and there could also be false alarms on power protection equipment. In Arctic Norway, the night is still bright and the aurora borealis can still be seen.
— NW7US (@NW7US) August 19, 2022
Such storms could also produce a spectacular side effect – northern lights visible beyond the usual range.
When one such EMC hit Earth on Wednesday, it produced a G2 geomagnetic storm, and the aurora was seen in Herzogswalde, Germany, according to spaceweather.com, which tracks the latest data from NOAA. G1 and G2 storms are possible these days. Herzogswalde is at 51 degrees north latitude, roughly in line with the center of Quebec and Ontario in Canada.
G1-G3 Watches are in effect for 17-19 August, 2022 due to likely CH HSS and CME influences. There is too much information to tweet about this activity – so please visit our webpage story at https://t.co/SitaSD3blc for all the information to keep properly informed. pic.twitter.com/E9K21u1TnJ
— NOAA Space Weather (@NWSSWPC) August 16, 2022
According to spaceweather.com, the lights were visible in the city through “clouds, fog and city lights.” On Thursday morning, NOAA said the impact zone consisted mainly of areas starting at 50 degrees north latitude, adding that the aurora could also be visible at higher latitudes such as Canada and Alaska.
On Wednesday, NASA astronaut Bob Hines, who is piloting the SpaceX Crew 4 mission launched in April, shared his own photos of the northern lights from space.