Big solar storm smacks Earth, may allow more to see auroras

AP News
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Posted: Jun 22, 2015 6:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A severe solar storm slammed Earth on Monday afternoon, increasing the chances of fluctuations in the power grid and GPS. It also pushes shimmering polar auroras to places where more people can possibly see them.

Federal forecasters said the Northern Lights may be able to be seen Tuesday night as far south as Iowa or Pennsylvania.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a potent blast of magnetic plasma shot out of the sun on Sunday, travelling faster than usual, hitting Earth with the biggest solar storm since March, maybe since September 2005.

NOAA space weather physicist Doug Biesecker said there are no reports of damage, but the electrical grid and GPS probably had current fluctuations that they could handle.

He said the storm could last a day or longer.