Space enthusiasts were able to capture shots of the spectacular aurora after a solar storm hit Earth today amid fears of global outages affecting radio and GPS. The aurora is a natural light found predominantly in high latitude regions. Space Weather Researcher Dr. Tamita Skov recently predicted that a large solar storm is likely to hit Earth with the possibility of powerful aurora displays.
“Direct hit! A snake-like filament launched into a large #solarstorm while in Earth’s strike zone. NASA predicts impact as early as July 19. A strong #aurora is possible deep into the mid-latitudes with this. Amateur #radio and #GPS users expect signal disruptions at night on Earth,” the space weather physicist tweeted.
A small solar storm is possible at high latitudes on July 20, he said, with a 50% chance of a major storm. In mid-latitudes, an active aurora is possible with a 10% chance of a major storm.
Skov later said that the solar storm is now waning, adding, “We have more storms on the way.”
“It won’t take much to get us back to hurricane level in the next few days,” he said.
Spaceweather.com said the solar wind entered Earth’s magnetosphere after a crack opened in the planet’s magnetic field on July 19, recording a small G1-class geomagnetic storm.
Several social media users shared pictures of aurora displays captured during the solar storm. Retweeting one of the images, Skov wrote, “#Aurora bright enough to be visible from an airplane over city lights in the Pacific Northwest USA, captured on iPhone during the early part of this #solarstorm. I think this view can be blinding through night vision goggles.