Massive Solar Eruption To Hit Earth Before New Year's Eve: Bringing Aurora Borealis To Oregon

Categories: Nature

Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation, appearing as giant flashes of light in Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) images. Although harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, it can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Nasa's SDO, which keeps a constant watch on the sun, captures images of the events. The SDO satellite was launched in February 2010 and is expected to observe the behaviour of the sun for five years.


Scientists say a massive solar eruption is about to hit Earth just before New Year's Eve. They say it is expected to cause power fluctuations, radio blackouts and even affect GPS reception.

There is a small chance it could make the Northern Lights visible in the Bay Area.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the aurora borealis will definitely dip down to at least Oregon.

Scientists say if you're flying early Wednesday, you're likely to see the Northern Lights between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

The geomagnetic storming watch for 30 December has been upgraded to a G3 (Strong), with a G1 (Minor) storming watch still in effect for 31 December. These watches are in response to consistent WSA-Enlil modeling results and SWPC forecasters' determination that a coronal mass ejection (CME) impact is likely just after mid-UTC day on 30 December with residual CME effects continuing into 31 December.

The CME impact may cause a sudden impulse geomagnetic response at Earth, likely resulting in the G3 conditions. The CME was associated with a long-duration M1 flare (R1-Minor radio blackout) that peaked at 1245 UTC (0745 ET) on 28 December. Keep checking the SWPC website for continued updates.

via SWPC

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