Batten down the hatches, earthlings! A solar storm is forecasted for today, March 14th. What can we expect during today’s “monster solar storm”? Hell-like fire blazes shooting toward Earth? Sun lava hurtling at us through space like a not-so-groovy lava lamp? Although it sounds scary, the monster solar storm won’t cause damage to our precious planet. In fact, the results will be quite beautiful.
So what does this whole solar storm thing mean for us? The phenomenon began in a “coronal hole” on the surface of the sun, according to Space.com. This hole lets high-speed particles stream out into space, and those charged particles have been headed our way for a little while now. They’ll finally make an appearance on Earth today and will greet us by amping up our auroras.
Auroras happen when Earth’s magnetic field channels charged particles from the sun to our polar regions. And when solar wind makes contact with these particles in Earth’s atmosphere, we get to see that beautiful blue-green glow in northern and southern regions of the globe.
With the addition of a solar storm, the auroras can intensify and be seen from lower regions. So tonight, places like Michigan and Maine may be able to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights at work.
Residents of Alaska, Minnesota, and Iowa might also be able to see heightened auroras, weather permitting. If the sky remains clear tonight, head outside and look north.
Thankfully, the solar storm sounds a lot scarier than it will be. Rather than head for your underground bunkers, grab your binoculars or that fancy telescope you got for Christmas. Head outside and witness the beauty of nature at work.