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Solar storm delivering a “glancing blow”

AURORA Forecast 012412

AURORA, a new online tool, provides a forecast of aurora intensities over the globe

Many news outlets are reporting on the solar storm in progress. The storm, which began as a coronal mass ejection (CME), or explosion of electrically charged particles from the sun, reached Earth about 9:30 this morning (eastern time).

According to, even though the CME was fairly large because it’s hitting us at an angle and not head on, the resulting effects on Earth will be tempered. There is the potential for beautiful displays of auroras in the north. Still, communications satellites and power grids could be damaged and airlines may be forced to reroute or delay flights for passenger safety.

According to the Space Weather Prediction Center, operated by the National Weather Service, this is the largest Solar Radiation Storm since October 2003.

For those who live in the far north, you might check out OVATION, a handy new tool that forecasts the intensity of auroras. It’s still in beta. Maybe you can help verify how well it does.


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