Aurora Alert: Massive solar storm heading for Earth!

GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: “A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning’s X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT (+/- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME’s forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras.”

That’s the headline on spaceweather.com for overnight into Thursday morning.

A major solar storm, pehaps the biggest in 5 years, will strike earth just after midnight Minnesota time. (+/- 7 hours)

The storm may trigger a dazzling display of northern lights!

It’s also strong enough that it may disrupt power systems, GPS and other devices.

8 cu sun.PNG

Here’s a movie from the SOHO observatory of the incoming Coronal Mass Ejection (CME)

8 cme.gif

Here’s the culprit, sunspot #1429:

8 aurbo.PNG

And a close up!

8 cu.PNG

More from NOAA:

Strong Solar Storm Impacting Earth

Solar Radiation and Geomagnetic Storm

Space Weather Prediction Center

“Strong (R3) Radio, (S3) Solar Radiation, and (G3) Geomagnetic storm levels will impact the Earth over the next few days.

Notable impacts:

Global Positioning System (GPS): Primarily to users with high-accuracy requirements (surveying, precision navigation, etc).

HF Communication: HF unusable at the highest latitudes (Polar Regions).

Aurora (Northern Lights): will be commonly visible in Alaska and the northernmost states of the Lower 48.”

We’re going to have to play hide and seek with some passing clouds tonight…but there are some breaks in the cloud deck and an overall clearing trend towards sunrise.

If you see breaks in the clouds overnight, make sure and look north for the possible aurora!

Best viewing is always away from city lights and any bright “light pollution” sources. On the south end of a park or lake is usually a good spot to look.

I’ll be the guy standing in the park looking at the northern sky.

-NOAA Space Weather Center

-spaceweather.com

Hope you see it!

PH

  • Joshua McBride

    Very imformative but I have a question, is this X5 Solar Flare strong enough to affect anything outside or on the earth’s surface?

  • Jill

    MASSIVE has 2 S’s

  • Laura Cina

    And strong is misspelled too. Someone in a hurry?