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The First Of A Series Of Extreme Solar Storms Hits Earth On Friday: A “Gift From Space” For Sky Gazers

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned about an extreme geomagnetic storm that could cause a spectacular light show in the sky in different states of America, Europe, and New Zealand.

The first effect of coronal mass ejections was visible on Friday, uniting people across the globe. Northern lights lit up the skies in places where people don’t usually see Auroras, such as Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc. People from all corners of the world shared images and videos of skies with green or violet hues on social media.

One social media user wrote,We’ve just woken the kids to go watch the northern lights in the back garden! Clearly visible with the naked eye.”

“Absolutely biblical skies in Tasmania at 4 am this morning.” Said photographer Sean O’Riordan on X.

The celestial spectacle occurred as supercharged solar particles came in contact with Earth’s magnetic field as well as the gas available in our atmosphere. An employee of NOAA explained the event in detail to us: “We have a rare event on our hands. We're a little concerned since we haven't seen this in a long time.” He added, “ We’re less certain about the timing of these events because we’re talking about something 93 million miles away.”

However, despite the excitement surrounding beautiful Auroras, it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks. NOAA has warned everyone about the power grid and communication issues caused by the fluctuating magnetic energy caused by the strong geomagnetic storm. Spacecraft and satellites are at risk of exposure to extreme radiation due to the solar storm, while people using radio equipment might face communication issues. 

A solar storm of such magnitude occurred in 2005 and 1989. Both times, prolonged power loss in certain areas was unavoidable. Thankfully, for now, no such reports of total blackout have come forward, and skygazers are truly immersed in the beauty of rare Aurora.

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