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AquaWether: Northern lights may be shining in some parts of the US this week

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After years of sleep, the eruption of a solar flare from the sun to the earth tempts a rare sight in the northern lights to the south rather than the usual light and becomes the latest sign that the sun is “waking up”.

The solar flare erupted from the Sun on Monday and produced a coronal mass ejection (CME) of plasma from the Sun’s atmosphere that will interact with the Earth’s atmosphere until Thursday. As a result, the NAAA Space Weather Forecast Center is forecasting a multi-solar storm from G-1 (Minor) to G-5 at G-3 intensity from Wednesday night to Thursday morning. (Intense).

Also known as a geomagnetic storm, when solar cells react with the Earth’s atmosphere to produce auroras, aquaveter senior meteorologist and astronomy blogger David Samuel explained. The strength of these storms is that the amazing lights are visible to any area.

When these waves of charged particles reach Earth, the planet’s magnetic field leads them to the north and south poles, where they collide with the planet’s atmosphere. Colorful hurricanes of light, known as auroras, are caused by the interaction between charged particles and the Earth’s atmosphere. In the northern hemisphere, the lights are known as aurora borealis, and they can shine in a variety of colors, including bright greens and purples.

The consolation phenomenon is a regular occurrence near the North and South Poles, but can be occasionally seen in more populated areas of Europe and the United States during strong geomagnetic storms.

“It’s all about the strength of the solar storm. Strong storms are seen in the far auroras of the south,” Samuel said.

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At the intensity of Hurricane G3, northern lights from Boston to Chicago to Seattle are likely to reach locations in the U.S., although seeing the aurora from cities is not possible due to light pollution.

“If the storm gets this power, you can see the lights from north to north of Pennsylvania, Iowa and Washington, but it’s like a dim glow on the horizon, not going over the top of the light as people think. When you think of Aurora,” said AquaWeather meteorologist Brian Lada.

However, cloud cover and light pollution prevent some of these areas from being seen.

“I would say that light pollution (the visibility of northern lights) affects more than meteorites,” Samuel said. “It’s usually dim when it looks south. You have to be in a pitch-black area to see it, and it’s still very dim.”

He added that people who see dim lights can sometimes achieve better images with longer exposures and therefore the lights are visible.

Aurora is one of the least cloud-covered areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to Samuel.

However, Samuel warns that the storm may not pass.

“These solar storms are very difficult to predict and difficult to predict,” Samuel said. “Inspired events like this don’t come out many times.”

The strength of these solar storms, which allow the auroras to move south, depends on the intensity of the flames and CMEs. Strong event, strong storm. In turn, the stronger the storm, the farther north the lights are – the more serious the consequences.

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These strong flames usually occur as part of the “solar” or 11-year solar cycle, which involves periods of high solar activity, more sunlight, and more intermittent high CMEs. The solar minimum indicates the period of time within this 11-year cycle with low solar energy activity. The Sun is currently moving from one solar minimum to the next, which is predicted to reach its peak in the first half of the 2020s.

Auroras are more likely to occur during solar energy, but they can occur during solar minimums, Samuel says. However, an abnormally southerly aurora will require a strong flame, which is less likely except during a solar eclipse.

While solar storms are ranked on a scale of G-1 to G-5, solar flares are the smallest, B, C, M, and X-class flames with A-class flares on a five-level scale. X-Class flames have no upper limit but have a scale of 1 to 9 after the letter.

Monday saw the C7.4 class solar flare – one of the strongest flames aimed at Earth, signaling a transition period to the more active part of the solar cycle 25 that could affect the planet.

“It’s a sign that the sun is waking up,” Samuel said. “The current solar minimum is about to end.”

The last solar power rose from 2011 to 2015 before the sun became inactive.

But on November 29, 2020, an M-class solar flare moved away from Earth but produced a larger CME.

Even during the transition period, the direction of the solar flares plays an important role in their influence along with their strength. When M4.4 passes harmlessly, a strong flame in the direction of the Earth can cause a technical disaster.

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According to the NAAA, the G-3 solar storm is expected to have minimal impact on power systems, space probes and satellite navigation. But with a strong storm, there are likely to be more serious consequences.

On September 10, 2017, during the last gasification of solar energy, the Sun created an X 8.3 solar flame – Samuel says it was the strongest flame ever measured. It was far from the planet.

“It would lead to blackouts across the planet and fry a lot of moons. It would be a global catastrophe,” Samuel said.

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