Solar storm to hit Earth later this week; auroras expected

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A solar storm is reportedly heading towards Earth on February 23 or 24 and it could provide great views of auroras in higher latitudes near the Arctic Circle possibly stretching to southern Canada. It comes after a solar flare happened in the sun on February 20.

The astronomy site Spaceweather.com is reporting an eruption split the sun’s atmosphere. The eruption resulted in a coronal mass ejection (CME) creating a “canyon of fire” on the sun’s surface.

The CME means there also was a large expulsion of plasma and magnetic field released. It is not heading directly for the earth but it is going to hit. That could create a minor geomagnetic storm with auroras at high latitudes.

A NOAA model suggest the western edge of the cloud will sideswipe Earth on February 23 or 24.

Dr. Tamitha Skov, a space weather physicist, tweeted the solar storm launched by the sun is confirmed to be Earth-directed. She says because the Earth’s shield is already rattled due to recent fast solar wind there could be great aurora views stretching deep into mid-latitudes.

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