A G-2 class geomagnetic storm has struck the Earth and it has left people mesmerized as some fascinating aurora views have appeared. Space experts share the details.
There is no respite for Earth from the Sun’s volatility. In fact, the fraught situation is expected to continue simply because it has yet to reach even the half-way stage of its 11-year solar cycle. Spaceweather.com has reported on the latest instance of the Earth being pummelled by the Sun. This time the solar wind has sparked a geomagnetic storm on Earth. It stemmed from the solar wind hitting Earth on September 4th. The impact caused a G-2 class geomagnetic storm. How did it feel like? According to Greg Ash of Ely, Minnesota, “The sky exploded with dancing shapes and pillars.” He was commenting on the fascinating auroras that were birthed by the geomagnetic storm.
The geomagnetic storm was sparked by the solar wind, which itself was flowing from a massive hole in the Sun. The hole is so large that it will continue to keep the solar wind going for over a day-and-a-half. The good news is that it will also continue to create auroras for humans to gawk at with fascination and wonder.
Twitterrati flooded the social media with photos that captured the beauty of auroras across the poles and nearby areas. If you are looking forward to catching the live glimpses of the auroras, then space weather expert, Dr. Tamitha Skov suggested, “Aurora has dropped deep into mid-latitudes & you must look to the south if you’re in central Saskatchewan, Canada, or at a similar latitude! We’re now at G2 levels. Views possible down to Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, & Oregon. Get ready New Zealand & Tasmania, you’re next! (Sic).”
But what caused this geomagnetic storm on Earth? This time the real culprit is none other than a massive coronal hole named CH20+ on the surface of the Sun. Coronal holes are basically the dark areas that appear in the solar corona in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft x-ray solar images. NASA says that they appear dark because they are cooler, less dense regions on the surface of the sun than the rest of the area.
The Space Weather Prediction Center informed in its report that, “Unsettled to active conditions beginning on 03 September is likely to increase to isolated G2 (Moderate) geomagnetic storming periods on 04 September as +CH20 becomes geoeffective. G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storming is likely to continue into 05 September.”