Attention, earthlings — especially those of you in the Midwest: We are under a “strong magnetic storm watch” through Saturday, thanks to the sun showering us with solar flares this week, including one recorded as the most powerful since 2008.
NASA captured amazing images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory as the sun fired two “significant solar flares” Wednesday morning, with the second flare being the biggest and baddest of the current solar cycle — resulting in a G3 (that means strong) magnetic storm watch for us.
Solar Cycle = An 11-year period when the sun’s activity waxes and wanes.
Solar Flares = Powerful bursts of radiation.
(Thank you, NASA. 🌞)
And it is NOT over. Two more ‘mid-level’ flares fired off from the sun Thursday morning; they are the fourth and fifth sizable flares from the same region since Monday.
NOAA posted a map of areas most likely to be affected by the storm. Heads up, those of you above the Mason Dixon line (pretend the historic line goes all across the US).
NASA says we don’t need to worry about those “powerful bursts of radiation” causing us to glow in the dark because “radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground.” So that part’s good.
What the solar flare can do to us, though, is punk our communications systems. High-frequency radio signals blacked out across the daytime side of Earth for about an hour after Wednesday’s initial bursts, according to National Geographic.
And especially with flares still coming at us (sort of), that may not be the end of it. Communications systems could be interrupted during the magnetic storm — and that includes global positioning systems, like GPS. You know, all of your navigation apps. 😭
So all you driving husbands, if only for the next few days, listen to your wives when they ask you to please stop and ask directions. 🚗❤😉