The Strongest Aurora Borealis in 20 Years, a G-5 Level Storm

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This evening, solar flares caused the strongest aurora in 20 years. Some reports advised pregnant women to stay indoors.

The ongoing geomagnetic storm has been upgraded to level 5 out of 5, or “extreme,” making it the first G5-level storm since 2003. There was a G-15 in the ’80s.

CNN Report:

A series of solar flares and coronal mass ejections have created dazzling auroras that may be seen as far south as Alabama and Northern California — but could also disrupt communications on Earth tonight and over the weekend.

The ongoing geomagnetic storm is now “extreme,” or level 5 out of 5, the Space Weather Prediction Center said Friday night. This is the first G5-level storm since October 2003.

Increased solar activity causes auroras that dance around Earth’s poles, known as the northern lights (aurora borealis) and southern lights (aurora australis). When the energized particles reach Earth’s magnetic field, they interact with gases in the atmosphere to light up the sky with different colors.

Though forecasters are working with operators to minimize the impact, the storm could affect the power grid, satellite, and high-frequency radio communications. A White House official said the Biden administration is monitoring the possibility of impacts.

The first video was posted by Matt Taylor on X:

The first photo was taken by X user Andrew Markowitz, who took the photo from 30,000 feet up during a transatlantic flight from Denver to Paris.

The second photo is from X user, Concerned Citizen:

This video was taken last night:

 

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