NOAA warns: A late solar storm is expected to reach Earth!
Space weather experts expect a delayed arrival of a coronal mass ejection (CME) that could trigger a small geomagnetic storm when it hits Earth’s magnetic field.
Updated on November 20, 2023 | 05:24 PM EST
A predicted solar flare is expected to hit Earth soon!
The CME in question exploded from the Sun on November 15, and was initially expected to reach our planet on November 19. However, space weather forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have not detected any impact yet.
Despite the delay, scientists believe that coronal ejection is still on its way toward Earth. Solar wind data indicate that the ejected plasma cloud is still on track, although its speed likely slowed somewhat during the transit. This has postponed the expected geomagnetic effects.
Geomagnetic storm is expected?
Forecasters say the CME’s glancing blow could trigger a G1 geomagnetic storm when it arrives. This could happen on November 20 based on the latest models. NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) continues to monitor the progress of the CME.
The classification scale for solar storms moves from G1 Minor to G5 Extreme, with G1 storms causing weak magnetic field fluctuations that can push aurora into lower latitudes. More powerful storms can disrupt communications, navigation systems, satellites and power grids.
Aurora Views ahead!
Auroral activity may arise if the coronal ejection generates a G1 storm when it finally passes Earth. Skywatchers at high latitudes can see increased displays of the northern and southern lights. NOAA’s 3-day forecast indicates there is a chance of power outages over the next three days.
How does NASA monitor solar activity?
NASA has a fleet of solar observatories that provide nearly continuous, around-the-clock observation of the Sun. These missions study the Sun across all layers of its atmosphere and interior, from the outer regions to the turbulent surface to the depths of the Sun itself. Instruments such as seismic and magnetic imagers peer into the Sun’s interior, while spacecraft such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Solar-Terrestrial Relations Observatory, and the Interface Zone Imaging Spectrometer monitor the Sun’s atmosphere. Upcoming missions scheduled to launch in 2018 such as Solar Probe Plus and ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter will add to NASA’s 24/7 solar monitoring capabilities. This group of solar observatories allows comprehensive research into all solar processes and activities.
(Tags for translation) Solar storm