Photographers who like to take pictures of the Aurora Borealis should be aware this week as the Sun has sent out a strong solar storm aimed at Earth.
High levels of radiation have caused shortwave radio to go out in the polar areas, reported by Space Weather.
The solar outburst is predicted to make the northern lights more bright and colorful. It could be seen as far south as New York, and if it is very intense, it could even be seen farther south.
IFL Science reported that NOAA’s Aurora dashboard predicts mild storm activity from 11 p.m Wednesday to 3 a.m. Thursday (UTC). This may bring moderate storms (G2) and a slightly higher chance of strong storms (G3), which would make for great aurora viewing in North America.
The weather in space can change quickly, like on Earth. Photographers should keep an eye on aurora predicting apps.
In February and March, strong solar storms caused the Northern Lights to be seen in southern states like New Mexico and California’s Death Valley.
On Sunday evening, a solar flare was reported and it was followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME) on Monday morning. These events may cause geomagnetic storms when energetic material from the sun strikes the Earth’s atmosphere.
If you don’t get to see the aurora lights now, don’t worry. Experts expect that the auroras will show up farther south than normal for the next few years.
The Sun’s magnetic fields are changing on an 11 year cycle, and scientists think that the brightest point of the cycle will happen in 2025. From now until then, the auroras will cover more and more of the Earth.
Dr. Taylor Cameron, a research scientist with the Canadian Hazards Information Service, tells The New York Times that when we’re in the least active phase of the solar cycle, the sun is very quiet, with basically nothing happening.
At the highest level, there are a lot of solar flares and a lot of coronal mass ejections. The Sun is very active.