Stunning Sight: Powerful Solar Storm Brightens Up the Night Sky
A powerful solar storm hitting the Earth's magnetic sphere brightens up the night sky, producing stunning auroras that reached as far south as continental United States.
According to the report from Astronomy, the luminous event started morning of October 25 and is expected to continue on some areas in the northern latitude. The Space Weather Prediction Center at NOAA categorized the geomagnetic storm last October 25 to be G3 (strong) and was later on relisted as G2 (moderate) in the morning of October 26. The scale used by the SWPS to measure the levels of geomagnetic storms goes from G1 (minor) to G5 (extreme).
Strong geomagnetic storms could disrupt GPS and satellite systems. Some powerful geomagnetic storms could even result to power surge in the grids located at high altitude. The most common and visible effect of such storms is the production of stunning auroras in the sky.
The present geomagnetic storm was predicted to produce auroras in the northern regions of US, southern Alaska, northern Europe and Russia. Space.com reported that the luminous show of auroras could also be viewed in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, as well as Wyoming and northern Wisconsin. The storm may also increased the intensity of the northern lights, making it more visible in regions that is normally too far south for the lights to reach, including Washington state, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa.
Eyefuls of auroras are expected to continue brightening up the sky. However, people living in very northern latitudes, including northern Canada, Scandinavia, Alaska, Russia and Antarctica could witness the glamorous show.
Geomagnetic storms are produced when a stream of radiation and powerful particles from the sun reached the Earth, reacting to planet's atmosphere and magnetic field. The disturbance cause by the solar materials hitting the Earth's magnetic field creates the natural light show known as auroras.
Despite its colorful display of lights, geomagnetic storms pose radiation threat to astronauts living in the space. Due to this, early prediction of possible storms is necessary to protect people working outside the Earth's protective layers.