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Solar Storm Could Give Wyoming Residents A Glimpse of Northern Lights

Photo Courtesy Space Weather Prediction Center, Boulder, CO

While many in the country are dealing with a major winter storm, Wyoming residents and others across the country might also see the effects of a large solar storm Thursday and Friday. That storm could allow area residents to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Joe Kunches with the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, says the solar event occurred Tuesday, ejecting coronal material from the Sun, launching it towards Earth. He says scientists expect the storm to hit the Earth overnight Thursday.

And that will cause the Earth’s magnetic field to become very disturbed, and what is called a geo-magnetic storm should begin. And we expect the geo-magnetic storm to last through the day and maybe half the day or maybe longer into Friday.

Kunches says Wyoming residents and others across the U.S. might be treated to glimpses of the Northern Lights Thursday night and into the early pre-dawn hours of Friday if weather conditions are right. He says there are some potential problems you might experience with electronic equipment.

There may be some applications of GPS that won’t work quite as well, uh through the day into Friday. Some types of communications, some airline flights that might typically go over the North Pole would be rerouted to be a little more southerly so they can keep in contact with satellites for their communications

Kunches adds that the Coronal Mass Ejection was large, but not a record event. He says the effects of this latest solar storm should subside late Friday or early Saturday.

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