Rare Celestial Spectacle: Geomagnetic storm to hit Earth For First Time In 19 Years, Visible In US Mainly 

Rare Celestial Spectacle: Geomagnetic storm to hit Earth For First Time In 19 Years, Visible In US Mainly

Rare Celestial Spectacle: Geomagnetic storm to hit Earth For First Time In 19 Years, Visible In US Mainly

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A potent solar storm hurtling towards Earth could usher in a dazzling display of northern lights across the U.S. this weekend, while also posing a potential threat to communication systems. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a rare geometric storm watch, signaling the likelihood of disruptions caused by an onslaught of plasma unleashed by solar flares.
The solar flares, commencing on Wednesday, have unleashed five bursts of plasma capable of interfering with both satellite operations and terrestrial power grids. These eruptions, known as coronal mass ejections, carry billions of tons of solar plasma and are associated with a massive sunspot approximately 16 times the diameter of Earth.
While reminiscent of an extreme geomagnetic storm in 2003 that wreaked havoc in Sweden and South Africa, NOAA reassures the public that there’s no cause for alarm. However, precautions are warranted, especially in the realm of communication. High-frequency radio transmissions, including those vital for aircraft communication, may experience interruptions. Fortunately, most commercial aircraft have satellite transmission as a reliable backup.
Satellite operators may face challenges in tracking their spacecraft, and power grids could encounter some induced current in their lines. Nevertheless, authorities affirm that these disruptions are manageable.
For sky gazers, the impending solar storm presents a captivating opportunity. NOAA predicts that the northern lights could be visible as far south as Alabama and Northern California. Clear skies at night, particularly in higher latitudes, offer a prime chance to witness the celestial spectacle.