Thursday, July 18, 2024
HomeWorld newsThe first 'extreme' solar storm in twenty years brings spectacular auroras

The first ‘extreme’ solar storm in twenty years brings spectacular auroras

The most powerful solar storm in more than two decades hit Earth on Friday, causing spectacular skylight shows in skies from Tasmania to Britain – and threatening possible disruptions to satellites and power grids if it continues into the weekend.

The first of several coronal mass ejections (CMEs) – expulsions of the Sun’s plasma and magnetic fields – occurred just after 1600 Greenwich Mean Time, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center.

It was later upgraded to an ‘extreme’ geomagnetic storm – the first since the so-called Halloween storms of October 2003 caused power outages in Sweden and damaged electricity infrastructure in South Africa. More CMEs are expected to ravage the planet in the coming days.

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