The Sun is experiencing an increased sunspots activity which is an 11-year cycle that is expected to acquire peak in 2013. Early this year, a solar storm was forecasted to affect satellite, communication and power stations though it was not fruitful.
This geomagnetic storm has been rated as a strong G3 storm according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms are as follow;
Geomagnetic storm & Coronal mass ejections: Northern lights!
Solar storms occur as a result of events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These events generate a so-called “solar wind,” a gust of charged particles which can slam into the Earth’s magnetic field in hours if the solar wind happens to be traveling in the direction of Earth. The collision can generate quite a light show as a geomagnetic storm erupts, and the storm can last for several days.
This event may stir up a geomagnetic storm, and lead to disruptions radio communications and power grids, the Earth is currently under the influence of this storm that would last till March 9 morning. This is the strongest coronal mass ejections since 2006, the equivalent of 10 billion tons of highly charged particles are hurtling at a rate of 3 million to 4 million miles an hour toward Earth.
Northern lights would be visible in especially in the lower latitudes. Michigan, Seattle Illinois and West Washington in the United States would observe this phenomenon. The people of Washington saw these lights in January as well. Parts of the United Kingdom and Central Asia will also observe these lights on March 8 night.
More geomagnetic storm also forming
Fresh solar storms are forecasted in the coming week by space experts but their magnitude is not known. The good thing is that there will be more northern lights in the days to come!