The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a small, G1-scale storm. the sun Tonight (December 23) that may arise Northern light Once the solar particles hit the atmosphere of the world and interacts with our planet’s magnetic field lines.
While that sounds exciting, US observers will have a hard time seeing the potential Northern Lights as a “bomb cyclone” is driving a massive winter storm across the northern and eastern United States.
Solar particles can also cause problems with the power grid or shorting out satellites, but fortunately for those working during the holiday season, it appears that the aurora’s impact will be small. NOAA predicts only “weak power grid fluctuations” and possible “minor impacts on satellite operations.”
NASA and NOAA keep a constant eye on the Sun using satellites, spacecraft and telescopes to inform infrastructure managers how best to keep things running, especially during busy times like the holidays.
NASA and other science organizations also work to model the sun’s behavior to understand how the 11-year cycle of sunspots works and how heat is generated across the sun. Like a spaceship Parker Solar Probe Allowing the company to further refine its models and improve forecasts
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “why am i tall (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow him on Twitter @wholespace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @space.com (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).