Written by By Matthew Newman, CNN
An unusually intense burst of solar energy that would seem to be going right over Earth’s heads right now has gotten its expected Halloween nod: scientists and researchers have issued a “significant geomagnetic storm watch” for the upcoming season after three days of intense outbursts from the sun.
There’s a chance, researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said, that the current storm may take on a “transient-like appearance” lasting between 20 and 40 hours and traveling at 1.8 million miles per hour (2.6 million kilometers per hour), which could be seen above the northern lights.
Geomagnetic storms can cause power fluctuations, affect communication signals and cause GPS problems, but, as Mother Nature Network reports, scientists say that nothing catastrophic has occurred so far.
NASA said that, even if our atmosphere isn’t going to get itchy with power failures, “visibility for those in the northern and central latitudes will be reduced due to visual effects from the sun’s aurora borealis (Northern Lights).”
There’s a chance that the current storm may take on a “transient-like appearance” lasting between 20 and 40 hours and traveling at 1.8 million miles per hour (2.6 million kilometers per hour), which could be seen above the northern lights. Credit: Hoihoo / Shutterstock
It’s rare for a solar storm to take place this early in the season — typically, NASA said, there isn’t a major storm until sometime around October.
A storm is also probably on the way during the week of July 30, NASA said.
Just last week, US space agency NOAA reported on a solar storm that took place from June 26 to 28, but that storm didn’t get as far as our planet.