NOAA Issues Severe Geomagnetic Storm Watch, Potential Northern Lights in Alabama

The sun is about to create a lot of disturbance in space, which could lead to a spectacular sight for people in Alabama. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently announced a Severe (G4) Geomagnetic Storm Watch, which is the first of its kind since 2005. This alert is due to solar activity like solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

If geomagnetic storms were hurricanes, this would be considered a category 4. These disruptions are expected to reach Earth starting on Friday and continuing through the weekend. As a result, the Northern Lights may be visible from states like California and Alabama.

The NOAA has warned that the solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which are “explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona,” could potentially impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on Earth’s surface. This could lead to disruptions in communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio, and satellite operations.

The root of this issue lies in a cluster of sunspots that is 16 times the diameter of Earth. Similar sun storms in the past have been linked to power outages and damage to power transformers. While there is no specific prediction for this geomagnetic storm, there is potential for disruption to the internet, according to some researchers.

One researcher, Professor Peter Becker of George Mason University, pointed out that the internet has flourished during a period of low solar activity and is now entering a more active phase. He noted the intersection of increased solar activity and our global dependence on the internet, emphasizing the potential impact on our daily lives.

This upcoming geomagnetic storm serves as a reminder of the significant impact that solar activity can have on Earth and the need for preparedness in the face of such natural phenomena.

Written by Staff Reports

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