ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Will you be able to see the aurora borealis from St. Louis tonight? It depends where you are and where you look.
There’s a major storm brewing tonight in space. The activity that’s been coming out of the sun is part of the solar cycle that will hit with the solar maximum. That’s actually still 2 years away in 2025.
The earth has been taking a beating this week. It’s a good thing that we have the earth’s magnetic field. It is a protective field that keeps the worst that comes from the sun and outer space away and keeps us safe down here on the ground.
Over the last couple of days, that sun has been spewing out plasma gas from the corona. We have the magnetic field of the earth and that helps protect us. It redirects a lot of the sun’s energy around us and out to space. But some of it follows magnetic field lines.
When that high-energy plasma starts to enter the highest levels of the earth’s atmosphere. That’s when we start to notice things happening down here on the earth’s surface.
Now, the worst solar storms would be a cause for concern about interruptions to perhaps satellite service, GPS, maybe your satellite TV, even cell phone service could be interrupted. The other thing that we worry about the power grid. Power grids can be overwhelmed by some of that surge in energy. Generally, that’s limited to the northern portions of the globe for that over the next two nights.
The brighter side of the solar storm is that those beautiful auroras get pushed further and further to the south. They may be visible over Nebraska, Northern Illinois and Iowa tonight. But, you may be able to see a hint of glow from the aurora borealis from outlying portions of the St. Louis area if you look along the northern horizon over the next few nights.