NASA has classified the solar storm as a powerful X1-class flare.
A massive solar flare could create dazzling Northern Lights over parts of the US on Sunday, according to NASA. The space agency said a solar storm erupted on October 28 and sent a large cloud of charged particles that should reach Earth on Halloween (Sunday, October 31).
When these particles hit Earth’s atmosphere, they will amplify the regular northern lights. Although solar tariffs carry harmful radiation emitted by the Sun, it does not pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground. However, some strong ones can disturb the atmosphere through which communication and GPS signals travel.
Types of Flares
In a blog, NASA has classified the solar storm as a powerful X1-class flare. Class X denotes the most intense flares. The number provides the intensity. For example, X2 is twice as intense as X1. NASA has also released an image of the October 28 event captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which constantly observes the Sun.
The image showed a bright flash in the lower center of the Sun and extreme ultraviolet light in flashes represented by the blue-green color in the image. Because the solar wind is intense, the second most powerful this year, the resulting northern lights should be visible from as far south as New York, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Maryland, and Nevada. “This could be a great show for people in the middle and high latitudes of the United States for the auroras,” C Alex Young, NASA associate director, told space.com.
Young said the solar flare accompanied a coronal mass ejection (CME), a huge eruption of radiation. “Current estimates for the CME are that it will hit Earth on October 31,” Young added. Seeing the auroras can be difficult, especially if you live in a big city full of streetlights and other light pollution.
For a better experience, try to get away from the city lights and find the darkest sky possible.