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You are here News Science Ferocious solar storm could give US rare view of northern lights

Ferocious solar storm could give US rare view of northern lights

Northern  lights

A ferocious solar storm powerful enough to knock out or disrupt satellite and communications systems, the power grid and radio signals was raging on Friday, space weather researchers warned.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) issued a rare warning for extreme G5 geomagnetic storm conditions when a solar outburst reached Earth on Friday afternoon, hours sooner than anticipated. The effects were due to last through the weekend and possibly into next week. The last extreme G5 event was in 2003.

Noaa alerted operators of power plants and spacecraft in orbit to take precautions, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“For most people here on planet Earth, they won’t have to do anything,” said Rob Steenburgh, a scientist with the Space Weather Prediction Center.

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