Strongest solar storm since 2017 hits Earth but leaves aurora chasers in the dark

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Daisy Dobrijevic joined in February 2022 having previously worked for our sister publication All About Space magazine as a staff writer. Before joining us, Daisy completed an editorial internship with the BBC Sky at Night Magazine and worked at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K.

The energetic onslaught hit our planet at 10:37 a.m. EDT on Sunday, March 24, sparking a severe G4-class geomagnetic storm, the strongest solar stormgeomagnetic storms on a scale running from G1, which can cause an increase in auroral activity around the poles and minor fluctuations in power supplies, up to G5. This most extreme level can cause complete HF radio blackouts on the entire sunlit side of the.

Might this be a #solarstorm fizzle? Although this storm will continue for hours yet, whether it will contain southward magnetic field is the key for big #aurora shows. At Solar Orbiter , the storm has a weak"South-East-North" configuration, meaning the axis… planet's magnetic field funnels them toward the poles.

Unfortunately, for aurora chasers across Europe and North America, the timing of the CME arrival meant much of the auroral activity was lost to daylight and by the time darkness fell, Earth had seemingly"closed its door" on auroras with a strong northward Bz shift. If the Bz is orientated southward, the IMF connects to Earth's magnetosphere which points northward.

But if the Bz is northward you can think of it as a"closed door" as the northward IMF fails to"connect" with our northward magnetic field. Much like two opposing bar magnets. Auroras can happen with northwards Bz but they require strong geomagnetic storms and the displays won't be as dramatic as those seen when the door is open during southward Bz.


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