"National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has at last spoken out regarding the 'massive magnetic storm" expected to hit Earth on March 18 and said there will be nothing like what we had expected. "There's no Sun spots right now - for the major solar storms you're going to need a really large Sun spot region to be the source of the eruption".
And the impending solar storm may bring those Northern Lights much farther south than usual. The red bars, which barely reach the G1 "minor storm" level, was misinterpreted as a major event. The weather in the space is quite cool and there is no imminent threat of any type of geomagnetic storm.
"The storm is impressive by recent standards, but nowhere near the maximum intensities often generated at the height of the solar cycle".
Also known as a geomagnetic storm, it is a temporary disturbance of the Earth's magnetic field, caused by radiation and streams of charged particles from the sun. The category rises from G1 to G5 with the increase in the intensity of the geomagnetic storms.
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Scientists rate geomagnetic storms on a scale between G1 and G5, and G5 is supposed to be the strongest, most extreme storm. Still, the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado says the famous Northern Lights could be seen across Canada and the northernmost parts of the USA such as ME and MI. G-5 is the highest level of geomagnetic activity, potentially disrupting spacecraft and satellite operations and causing power grid voltage control problems.
And if you're far enough north, or perhaps in Antarctica (hi there!), you may get to feast your eyes on the aurora as the charged particles channelled towards the poles by Earth's magnetic field interact with the ionosphere.
A report from Tech Times that was published shortly after the series of "sensationalist" articles on the potential geomagnetic storm on March 18 detailed what some of these other reports claimed. The publication cited two separate examples from the Ready.gov website, starting with 1859's so-called "Carrington Event", where Northern Lights were visible even in Cuba and Hawaii, and several telegraph operators fell victim to electric shocks from telegraph lines, with their papers also catching fire as a result of the storm. A similar geomagnetic storm happened in 1989 which caused a 9-hour blackout in Canada.