Solar storm speeding toward Earth could affect radio, GPS signals on Friday
A massive explosion was spotted on the sun on Wednesday, and now astronomers are keeping a close eye on how that may impact us here on Earth in the coming days.
How to survive: Coronal mass ejection
NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center issued G1-Minor and G2-Moderate Geomagnetic Storm Watches that will run from Feb. 16-18 due to the continuing effects of the Coronal Mass Ejections (CME).
A view of the sun on Jan. 16-17, 2023. (Solar Dynamics Observatory / NASA)
The G1-Minor Geomagnetic Storm Watch will be in effect through Friday after the effects of the CME that passed by Earth on Wednesday.
According to the SWPC, the geomagnetic storm may affect satellite operations and could even lead to weak power-grid fluctuations. In addition, migratory animals could be affected, and the Northern Lights may be visible farther south than usual, like in northern Michigan and Maine.
VIVID AURORAS EXPECTED THIS WEEK DUE TO RECENT SOLAR FLARE
A second CME was also observed on the sun on Wednesday, and officials said the effects could begin to impact Earth starting late Friday morning or Friday afternoon.
"G1-Minor conditions are likely on 17 Feb, with G2-Moderate conditions likely on 18 Feb as the main driver of the CME arrives at Earth," the SWPC said.
FLASHES OF LIGHT MAY HELP SCIENTISTS PREDICT WHEN SOLAR FLARES MAY EXPLODE FROM THE SUN
A G2-level solar storm could affect high-latitude power systems by triggering voltage alarms, and long-duration storms could cause damage to transformers. In addition, corrective actions may be necessary for spacecraft orbiting Earth.
Radio and GPS signals could also be affected by a G2 solar storm, and the Northern Lights could possibly be seen farther south into places like New York state and Idaho.
A look at the aurora forecast for Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. (FOX Weather)