Close

This week, the Earth is under geomagnetic storm warnings owing to activity on the sun's surface a few days ago. Some regions of the United States may even see an aurora.

The National Weather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued geomagnetic storm watches for September 1 and 2. This occurs after the sun ejected two coronal mass ejections CMEs on August 28.

EarthSky said that 'sun-watchers' already noted the heightened activity from the sun before the two solar flares. The active area 12860 generated eight C-class solar flares before producing a bigger M4.7 X-ray flare on August 28 that caused an R1 or small radio blackout on the side of the Earth that faces the sun. Later that day, a second CME erupted, and two CMEs are now affecting the Earth.

Both CMEs were modeled, and while the results were not clear, "consensus is that both CMEs might conceivably reach Earth on September 01-02," according to SWPC. If these CMEs form, the combined effect of the two transients might result in G1-G2 storm conditions.

NOAA Issues Minor, Moderate Geomagnetic Storms

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) space weather scales G1 and G2 geomagnetic storms are classified as 'minor' and 'moderate,' respectively. They can nevertheless impact like '"minimal influence on satellite operations" and "voltage warnings" in high-latitude power systems.

Green Aurora Borealis
(Photo: Egil Sjøholt)

Forbes, citing former NASA astronomer Tony Phillips' explanation on Spaceweather.com, reported that CMEs would bring a twin punch separated by hours.

The organization said that migratory birds and animals are affected by the solar storm. They added that auroras might also be visible at higher latitudes, such as in Maine and northern Michigan.

ALSO READ: Coronal Mass Ejection Caught on NASA Video Dispersing Billions of Hypersonic Particles, Watch Now!

Stargazers Could See Auroras During Geomagnetic Storms

According to SpaceWeather.com, folks "as far south" as New York and Idaho may see auroras during the event.

Storms like this do not affect electrical grids or satellites, according to the source. At high latitudes, though, they may generate magnificent auroras. A light display is conceivable in Scandinavia, Iceland, Canada, and perhaps some northern-tier U.S. states.

Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve, the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, and Michigan's Upper Peninsula are among the areas in the U.S. where visitors may see the auroras.

Solar Storm's Geomagnetic Impact To Cause 'Internet Apocalypse'?

This unusual solar storm might have catastrophic consequences for undersea internet cables, a vital part of the global internet infrastructure. The research titled "Solar Superstorms: Planning for an Internet Apocalypse," said that unless better mitigation measures are made against these consequences, we may be on the verge of an "internet apocalypse."

According to study author Abdu Jyothi, regional internet infrastructure is surprisingly resilient to solar storms. This is because optical fiber is not impacted by the geomagnetically generated currents that occur during solar storms.

However, the electronic repeaters used to magnify optical signals in long underwater cables are extremely sensitive to those currents, and a powerful solar storm may destroy these cables, cutting the global connection.

Abdu Jyothi told WIRED that she became interested in the consequences of solar storms on our internet infrastructure after seeing how unprepared the globe was for the COVID-19 epidemic. Abdu Jyothi explained that Earth's infrastructure is not yet ready for a solar storm of this magnitude. She added that it is just a rudimentary idea of the scope of the harm.

RELATED ARTICLE: Solar Flare From Sun Might Be Heading to Earth; Should We Worry?

Check out more news and information on Space in Science Times.