Geomagnetic Storm Watch in Effect as Sun Spews Huge Radioactive Cloud, Lights up Skies


Having any problems with your cell phone reception the past couple of days?

Has your satellite TV reception been a little fuzzy?

If so, you can blame the sun.

More specifically, you can blame the effects of a geomagnetic solar storm, the effects of which were expected to hit our favorite planet of all time Tuesday and Wednesday.

A solar storm alert was issued for the past two days by the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center.

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The storm watch was issued “due to the arrival of a negative polarity coronal hole high speed stream,” SWPC explained Sunday in an online post Sunday.

The good news is this week’s storm is not expected to exceed a grade of G1 in terms of its intensity. A geomagnetic storm would have to reach G4 Severe or G5 Extreme on the official SWPC five-point intensity scale in order to cause major disruptions to the planet.

Have you noticed any impact of this week's solar storm?

For now, don’t expect much more than weak power fluctuations and minor impacts on satellite operations. NASA also said minor damage to Earth-orbiting satellites, ”especially those in high, geosynchronous orbits” could occur.

In addition, solar storms are capable of interfering with the internal compasses of marine mammals, causing an increase in whale strandings on beaches.

The most visible impact of the storm is a pretty cool one if you live in the right part of the world, as folks in the far northern states, Canada or other northern European countries are likely to see a bright example of aurora borealis, better known as the northern lights.

People in the far southern hemisphere can also see what they known as the southern lights, or aurora australis, glowing in the sky over southern New Zealand and Tasmania.

Solar storms are not unusual, and most cause nothing more than minor interruptions for us here on Earth.

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Some have claimed life on Earth could be severely damaged or destroyed by a massive solar flare, but NASA says there’s no need to fear such an incident.

“Some people worry that a gigantic ‘killer solar flare’ could hurl enough energy to destroy Earth, but this is not actually possible,” NASA explained in a 2013 article on its website. “Even at their worst, the sun’s flares are not physically capable of destroying Earth.”

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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