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Solar storm to amplify Earth’s aurora borealis on Wednesday

  Solar storm to amplify Earth's aurora borealis Wednesday

Northern lights shine over the Lofoten Islands in Norway. A geomagnetic storm can amplify the northern lights on March 14 and 15, 2018.

Credit: Shutterstock

A small solar storm will reach Earth on Wednesday (March 14) and could amplify the auroras of the planet, making them visible from the extreme north parts of the USA. UU., Space weather officials said.

States on the "northern level" of the United States, such as Michigan and Maine, could see auroras from the enlarged auroral screen, according to a warning from the Space Prediction Center (SWPC), part of the National Oceanic Administration and Atmospheric (NOAA), in Boulder, Colorado. The storm could also trigger fluctuations in some weak power grids, but it will have less impact on space satellites, the center said.

SWPC scientists predicted that this week's geomagnetic storm will be a G1 class, a minor event and will operate Wednesday through Thursday (March 15). [Amazing Auroras: Photos of Earth’s Northern Lights]

The solar storm originated from what scientists call a coronal hole, a region in the sun that allows high-velocity particles to flow into space. It is expected that these charged particles will reach Earth on Wednesday (March 14) and add a little more energy to the auroras of the planet.

These phenomena occur when the funnels of the Earth's magnetic field carry particles from the sun to the polar regions. When this solar wind interacts with particles in the Earth's atmosphere, it causes a dazzling brightness. The auroras on the North Pole are called aurora borealis; over the South Pole, they are known as the austral aurora.

During strong solar storms, the solar wind can trigger what scientists call a geomagnetic storm. Depending on its intensity, the storm can trigger radio blackouts, interfere with energy networks on Earth and affect satellites in orbit. As a side effect, they can also amplify Earth's auroras, making them visible to regions at lower latitudes than typical ones.

Send an email to Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @ tariqjmalik [19659012] and Google+ . Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook and Google+ . Original article in Space.com.

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