BOSTON (CBS) — We are now under a “Geomagnetic Storm Watch” for July 16-17! No, don’t worry, your Sunday beach day is not in jeopardy and there is no need to book your ticket on the next flight out of our solar system just yet.
In fact, this is kind of exciting! Let’s explain…
Earlier on Friday a huge sunspot (AR2665 if you are scoring at home) erupted on the surface of our sun. An enormous solar flare (explosion) lasting for more than two hours ejected from the area. This explosion produced what scientists call a “coronal mass ejection (CME)” and it is headed straight for our planet!
Again, this is nothing to be alarmed about, your cell phones won’t be zapped and our electrical grids are safe. But, when this mass arrives on Sunday, it will likely spark geomagnetic storms and brilliant auroras for the high latitudes.
Typically these auroras happen over the Arctic and at best over Northern New England. However, there is a chance on Sunday night and early Monday morning of some aurora activity in Southern New England!
We will be updating you over the weekend as the storm gets closer, or you can check out NOAA’s website.
Enjoy the storm!
The northern lights seen in Maine in September 2016. (Photo credit Jamie Walter/Sugarloaf)
You can follow Terry on Twitter at @TerryWBZ.