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World News May 11, 2024

Strong solar storm could produce northern lights in U.S.

A severe geomagnetic storm warning issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) alerts of a strong solar storm hitting Earth, potentially causing northern lights visible in the United States this weekend. The storm, arriving earlier than expected on Friday afternoon, may last through the weekend and into next week. Operators of power plants, spacecraft, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have been cautioned. While the northern lights may reach as far south as Alabama and Northern California, experts predict subdued displays compared to typical auroras. The storm, ranked 4 out of 5, poses risks to high-voltage transmission lines and satellites, potentially disrupting power grids, navigation, and communication services. Though signals between GPS satellites and ground receivers may be affected, disruptions are expected to be short-lived. The solar activity, associated with sunspots and coronal mass ejections, is part of the sun’s increasing activity as it approaches the peak of its 11-year cycle. Measures are in place to protect sensitive instruments on NASA’s science satellites.

Source – CGTN

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