Thursday, December 31, 2015

Space Storm: Aurora over Oregon?

It is (or was?) apparently a possibility:

Strong Geomagnetic Storm May Be Approaching: What You Need To Know
People in Illinois, Oregon and other northern states may catch a glimpse of colorful aurora Wednesday as a geomagnetic storm brews in Earth's magnetosphere. The Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a strong geomagnetic storming watch, expecting a G3 storm to arrive in conjunction with a coronal mass ejection impact.

The prediction center said the G3 geomagnetic storming could effect power systems, spacecraft operations and high-frequency radio transmissions. The storm means that the northern lights may be visible as far south as 50 degrees geomagnetic latitude.

Geomagnetic storms happen when solar wind produces "major changes in the currents, plasmas and fields in Earth's magnetosphere," according to the Space Weather Prediction center. The center has been tracking a coronal mass ejection that's likely to impact earth and has been associated with a small radio blackout on December 28.

These storms may bring beautiful colors into the night sky, but their impacts are widespread, from GPS interference to the creation of harmful currents in power grids.
See the whole article for embedded links and photos. It was supposed to have started yesterday, lasting into the 31st. I didn't see anything last night, but then we are in the southern part of the state. According to the Space Weather Website, the storm is only rated G2 now.

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