Solar Flare Expected to Reach Earth This Weekend: What to Know

by Shelby Scott
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This fall season has seen a host of exciting celestial events and now it appears, Outsiders may experience yet another. Just before Thursday’s national Thanksgiving celebrations, our Sun gave off yet another solar flare. The event follows close on the heels of a similar occurrence that took place during last month’s Halloween weekend. The October event resulted in outages and disruptions internationally. However, NASA believes the approaching solar storm does not pose any direct threats or disruptions to our planet.

Nevertheless, according to The U.S. Sun, lucky stargazers might just get a glimpse of a fantastic display of our planet’s Northern Lights. Reaching Earth as early as Saturday, the solar flare will likely “side-swipe” our planet’s magnetic field.

The news outlet cited SpaceWeather.com, stating the approaching flare will most likely trigger celestial displays within Earth’s Arctic regions. So, unfortunately, for Outsiders here in much less frigid regions, there’s a good chance we’ll miss out on the solar flare’s fantastical display.

However, for those interested and able to witness the display of the Northern Lights, The U.S. Sun provided us with some crucial information. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, models suggest the planet-wide side-swipe will occur Saturday, November 27th. Those hoping to catch a glimpse should look skyward in the late hours of the evening. The administration stated, “Much of the [coronal mass ejection] will miss, sailing south of our planet. But the fraction that hits should be enough to spark bright Arctic auroras.”

For you lucky Outsiders able to catch a glimpse of the celestial beauty, don’t be afraid to share photos!

Halloween Solar Flare Caused Mass International Disruptions

As I said above, the approaching solar flare will most likely do little more than spark a display of our planet’s Northern Lights. However, the Halloween solar flare came with different international side effects.

Solar flares, first off, really don’t pose humans any physical harm as our planet is constructed to protect us against that intense radiation. But, with big enough solar storms, humans definitely feel the effects here on Earth.

While the coming solar flare is set to just side-swipe Earth, the Halloween flare headed straight for us. As a result, the astronomical event did not only trigger a mass display of the Northern Lights. Populations across South America saw strong yet temporary radio blackouts days before the flare’s passing.

In comparison, scientists have an official scale with which they categorize our solar system’s flares. October’s celestial event registered as an X-1, while the approaching November event so far registers as only a G-1. Basically, solar flares are measured in impact based on the letters of the alphabet. Essentially, the weakest solar flares register as only an A on the scale while the strongest register with an X.

Obviously then, the approaching solar flare intends to create little impact on humans following its passing.

Outsider.com