The magnetic storm that has been developing on the Sun’s surface may cause problems down here on Earth soon. Reuters reports that above average solar activity is proving to be a real concern for the Space Weather Prediction Center. They warn that communications and GPS satellites could be affected and are asking that users who rely on these systems prepare for “possible disruptions.” Users who rely on these systems include you and everyone you know.
Space weather scientist Joseph Kunches says, “The magnetic storm that is soon to develop probably will be in the moderate to strong level.” Power grids have been known to go out due to these types of storms, so power companies are on alert and may shut down some operations if they receive a warning from the Space Weather Prediction Center.
There are some pretty side effects, however: Aurora borealis could be visible as far south as Wisconsin because of the magnetic storm.
The inconvenience of losing satellites probably outweighs the beauty of northern lights, but if neither happens, here are some northern lights anyway:
If solar storms do knock out satellites and power grids and disrupt your life to the point where you have to stalk through the woods, hunting raccoons for sustenance, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Power companies prepare as solar storms set to hit Earth [Reuters]