Earth to be struck by second solar storm TODAY with 75% chance of radio, satellite and GPS blackouts, NOAA warns – Daily Mail

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A powerful, three-day long solar storm is expected to hit Earth today that could  trigger ‘power grid fluctuations,’ experts have warned.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) noted that the geomagnetic storm, which is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere, could disrupt satellite orbits, cause radio blackouts and push incredible northern light displays as far south as New York.

The upcoming storm is due to an active sunspot that has unleashed at least 18 flares this week.

This the same region that ejected a powerful stream of plasma, called a coronal mass ejections (CME), earlier this month that disrupted communications worldwide.

The sunspot completed a full rotation on the sun, swinging back around towards Earth for what appears to be another active few days

The event is just one portent of the high-impact solar weather to come, as the sun reaches its ‘solar maximum,’ astrophysicists have told, the most energetic point of its recurring, 11-year solar cycle, next summer in July 2025.

Category G2 or ‘moderate’ solar storms are expected for Friday and Saturday, after today’s more mild events, according to NOAA, which runs America’s Space Weather Prediction Center

The ‘area of impact’ is likely to extend from Earth’s poles down to 55-degrees of ‘geomagnetic latitude’ — a region that includes northern parts of Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Vermont.

While that puts those regions of the continental US at some level of risk for voltage issues to local power systems and disruptions to high frequency radio waves, there will be benefits as well.

The beautiful aerial phenomenon known as aurora borealis, or the northern lights, will also be visible in these regions, depending on local cloud conditions. 

‘Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state,’ NOAA’s latest space weather advisory stated.

Friday and Saturday's coming solar storm, produced by an X1.4 solar flare CME (pictured, left of center above) ejected by Sunspot AR3697 yesterday. The flare's CME has already caused 'strong radio blackouts' over the mid-Atlantic Ocean region, according to EarthSky

Sunspot AR3664, now renamed AR3697, has reached a size that now competes with the sunspot responsible for the infamous 1895 Carrington event - which sent telegraph wires ablaze, shutting down international communication

Skywatchers living in those areas may want to take a few snaps even if they can’t see this charged plasma light show in Earth’s upper magnetosphere, according to meteorologist Bob Henson, particularly if they have a newer model of the iPhone.

‘Some cameras (including newer iPhones) are sensitive enough to yield stunning auroral pix even when the aurora is nearly or totally invisible to the naked eye,’ Henson posted to social site X earlier this month.

Although this weekend’s solar storm is expected to be less intense than extreme (G5) geomagnetic conditions‘ of the powerful CMEs that hit Earth from May 10 to 13, more can be expected as the sun approaches its most turbulent phase of its cycle.

‘We could easily get much bigger storms over the next year or two,’ Dr Jonathan McDowell of Smithsonian and Harvard’s Center for Astrophysics told earlier this month.

Sunspot AR3664, now renamed AR3697, is the disturbance on the sun’s surface that was responsible for this May’s biggest G5 solar storms and is larger than the sunspot that produced the infamous Carrington event of 1859.

The Carrington storm set telegraph wires on fire, cut communications worldwide, and even disrupted ships’ compasses — history that could repeat, wreaking havoc on modern technology if Earth faces a direct hits from these bigger solar storms.

The sunspot completed a full rotation on the sun, swinging back around towards Earth for what appears to be another active few days. 

‘It’s definitely a scary time for satellite operators,’ Dr McDowell said. 

In recent years, major geomagnetic storms have also been proven to capable of destroying satellites by causing them to crash into other objects in space.

One 2022 geomagnetic storm, the last severe storm prior to this May, destroyed up to 40 Starlink satellites worth more than $50 million, according to the company.

Friday and Saturday’s coming solar storm, produced by an X1.4 solar flare CME ejected by Sunspot AR3697 yesterday, has already caused ‘strong radio blackouts’ over the mid-Atlantic Ocean region, according to EarthSky.


The Sun is a huge ball of electrically-charged hot gas that moves, generating a powerful magnetic field.

This magnetic field goes through a cycle, called the solar cycle.

Every 11 years or so, the Sun’s magnetic field completely flips, meaning the sun’s north and south poles switch places. 

The solar cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, such as sunspots which are caused by the Sun’s magnetic fields. 

Every 11 years the Sun's magnetic field flips, meaning the Sun's north and south poles switch places. The solar cycle affects activity on the surface of the Sun, increasing the number of sunspots during stronger (2001) phases than weaker (1996/2006) ones

One way to track the solar cycle is by counting the number of sunspots.

The beginning of a solar cycle is a solar minimum, or when the Sun has the least sunspots. Over time, solar activity – and the number of sunspots – increases.

The middle of the solar cycle is the solar maximum, or when the Sun has the most sunspots.

As the cycle ends, it fades back to the solar minimum and then a new cycle begins.

Giant eruptions on the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, also increase during the solar cycle.

These eruptions send powerful bursts of energy and material into space that can have effects on Earth.

For example, eruptions can cause lights in the sky, called aurora, or impact radio communications and electricity grids on Earth. 

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