A SMALL solar storm hit Earth over the weekend, prompting the display of northern lights in the Arctic.
The storm was caused by a salvo of radiation known as coronal mass ejection (CME), according to space-time monitoring data.
CME is formed when the Sun ejects a cloud of charged particles from its atmosphere.
They are one of the most powerful forms of solar storm.
“A minor G1 class geomagnetic storm erupted around midnight (UT) on June 25-26,” according to experts at Spaceweather.com.
“Forecasters are not sure why. The main suspect is an unexpected CME built into the solar wind. “
Because the solar storm is classified as G1, it is small and is not expected to have harmful effects on Earth.
G1 storms can cause weak fluctuations in the power grid and have less of an impact on satellite communications.
Stronger storms are known to damage electrical networks and cause widespread radio blackouts.
Space expert Dr. Tamitha Skov said on Twitter on Saturday: “A fast solar wind is hitting the Earth!
“Expect unstable to stormy conditions for the next 48-72 hours.
“Fans of #aurora at high latitudes should have good shows with sporadic views at mid latitudes.
“Amateur radio monitors less interference and the spread of auroras over the weekend #FieldDay.”
When CME is aimed at the Earth, it amplifies aurora borealis and australis.
These natural light emissions occur when solar wind particles excite atoms in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, causing them to glow.
The wavy patterns that form often resemble light curtains usually in colors of green and pink, as you see in northern lights.
According to the NOAA, depictions of celestial light have appeared over parts of the Arctic region, including northern Canada.
Another type of solar storm are solar flares. “The solar flare is an intense burst of radiation or light on the sun,” according to NASA.
“Solar flares are a sudden explosion of energy caused by entanglement, crossing, or reorganization of magnetic field lines near sunspots.”
A huge sunspot was discovered last week, June 20th.
“It’s huge today. The fast-growing sunspot has doubled in just 24 hours,” SpaceWeather.com reported.
“The explosive heat of a solar flare cannot reach all the way to our sphere, but electromagnetic radiation and energy particles certainly can,” NASA explained.
“Solar flares can temporarily change the upper atmosphere by disrupting signal transmission from, say, GPS satellites to Earth, causing it to be many meters away.”
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