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Solar Fury Strikes: Earth Faces Disruption to Communication, Power Networks

Solar Fury Strikes: Earth Faces Disruption to Communication, Power Networks

A historic solar storm, the most potent in over two decades, struck Earth on Friday, igniting dazzling celestial displays from Tasmania to Britain and posing potential risks to satellites and power grids throughout the weekend. The initial coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred just after 1600 GMT, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center. Upgraded to an "extreme" geomagnetic storm, it marks the first such event since the "Halloween Storms" of October 2003, which caused widespread blackouts and infrastructure damage.

Social media erupted with stunning aurora sightings from northern Europe to Australasia. Individuals like Iain Mansfield in Britain and photographer Sean O'Riordan in Tasmania shared awe-inspiring images of the phenomenon.

Authorities alerted satellite operators, airlines, and power grids to take precautionary measures against potential disruptions caused by shifts in Earth's magnetic field. Unlike solar flares, CMEs travel at a slower pace, emanating from a vast sunspot cluster 17 times wider than Earth as the Sun nears the peak of its 11-year activity cycle.

While the storm's effects are primarily felt at Earth's polar regions, its reach depends on its final intensity, according to Professor Mathew Owens of the University of Reading. He encourages people to witness the spectacle firsthand, advising them to look for auroras and the sunspot cluster if equipped with eclipse glasses.

NOAA's Brent Gordon urges capturing the night sky with phone cameras, even if auroras are not visible to the naked eye, as the storm poses potential risks to power lines, pipelines, spacecraft, and even migratory birds with internal compasses.

The Carrington Event of September 1859, the most powerful geomagnetic storm on record, serves as a reminder of the potential hazards. With the likelihood of power outages, officials recommend preparedness measures such as having flashlights, batteries, and radios readily available.

 
 
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Solar Fury Strikes: Earth Faces Disruption to Communication, Power Networks

Solar Fury Strikes: Earth Faces Disruption to Communication, Power Networks

A historic solar storm, the most potent in over two decades, struck Earth on Friday, igniting dazzling celestial displays from Tasmania to Britain and posing potential risks to satellites and power grids throughout the weekend. The initial coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred just after 1600 GMT, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Space Weather Prediction Center. Upgraded to an "extreme" geomagnetic storm, it marks the first such event since the "Halloween Storms" of October 2003, which caused widespread blackouts and infrastructure damage.

Social media erupted with stunning aurora sightings from northern Europe to Australasia. Individuals like Iain Mansfield in Britain and photographer Sean O'Riordan in Tasmania shared awe-inspiring images of the phenomenon.

Authorities alerted satellite operators, airlines, and power grids to take precautionary measures against potential disruptions caused by shifts in Earth's magnetic field. Unlike solar flares, CMEs travel at a slower pace, emanating from a vast sunspot cluster 17 times wider than Earth as the Sun nears the peak of its 11-year activity cycle.

While the storm's effects are primarily felt at Earth's polar regions, its reach depends on its final intensity, according to Professor Mathew Owens of the University of Reading. He encourages people to witness the spectacle firsthand, advising them to look for auroras and the sunspot cluster if equipped with eclipse glasses.

NOAA's Brent Gordon urges capturing the night sky with phone cameras, even if auroras are not visible to the naked eye, as the storm poses potential risks to power lines, pipelines, spacecraft, and even migratory birds with internal compasses.

The Carrington Event of September 1859, the most powerful geomagnetic storm on record, serves as a reminder of the potential hazards. With the likelihood of power outages, officials recommend preparedness measures such as having flashlights, batteries, and radios readily available.

 
 
 
 

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