[current_date format=l,] [current_date]

How a Giant Sunspot Unleashed Solar Storms that Spawned Global Auroras that Just Dazzled Us All

“One of those rare moments that you just can be at one with it with Mother Earth, and with the cosmos.” By Meredith Garofalo First, it was the total solar eclipse at the beginning of April. Then, late last week, the sun became the “star” attraction yet again: A huge sunspot launched a series of solar storms that supercharged the aurora, making the ethereal sight visible from much of the United States, Europe and many other parts of the globe. Personally, after being completely overwhelmed with emotion experiencing the total solar eclipse in Dallas, I thought that was going to be the highlight of the year for me for space and science. But Friday night’s mystical minutes seeing the northern lights with my mom in my hometown of Cleveland

“One of those rare moments that you just can be at one with it with Mother Earth, and with the cosmos.”

By Meredith Garofalo

First, it was the total solar eclipse at the beginning of April. Then, late last week, the sun became the “star” attraction yet again: A huge sunspot launched a series of solar storms that supercharged the aurora, making the ethereal sight visible from much of the United States, Europe and many other parts of the globe.

Personally, after being completely overwhelmed with emotion experiencing the total solar eclipse in Dallas, I thought that was going to be the highlight of the year for me for space and science. But Friday night’s mystical minutes seeing the northern lights with my mom in my hometown of Cleveland was so special.

This might not happen again for a while, and everything serendipitously came together that evening. Watching my mom with a childlike joy and appreciation for science and space, and getting giddy and taking photos together — those are moments I will hold close for the rest of my life. I also shared the experience via text with friends and family across the country, making it tough to decide which celestial sight claims the top spot!

The view of the northern lights on May 10, 2024 from Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: Meredith Garofalo/Space.com)

If I can geek out with you quickly: I was starstruck by the beauty of the aurora (no pun intended). Seeing the northern lights had been on my bucket list, and I thought checking that box would take careful planning and travel to get to a location where the phenomenon is more common. Instead, it happened in the backyard where I grew up, with my mom on Mother’s Day weekend — quite perfect, if I say so myself! We even saw the Big Dipper during the celestial show (and captured a photo of it; thank you to the incredible technology in our phones)!

“Perfect” is also the word that scientists are using to describe how everything transpired Friday evening. For the aurora to be as widely visible as it was, there has to be a level of interaction between a strong coronal mass ejection (CME) — an eruption that sends superhot plasma blasting from the sun — and Earth’s magnetic field.

“[The aurora] was one of those rare moments that you just can be at one with it with Mother Earth, with the cosmos; it was pretty darn perfect. When it’s perfect coupling, the negative ends meeting the positive ends, that brings in all the energy; that’s what we want,” Bill Murtagh, program coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), told Space.com on the phone.

The Big Dipper was visible during the May 10 sky show from Cleveland. (Photo: Meredith Garofalo/Space.com)

“Friday was absolutely remarkable; the aurora was visible right down to the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico and Mexico,” Murtagh added.

The number of CMEs responsible for this historic event is impressive, with each one moving at different speeds and trajectories. For a geomagnetic storm to get to the most powerful level — G5 on the SWPC’s scale — the CMEs must either merge or approach Earth at or around the same time.

“What complicates things is some of the faster ones catch up with the slower ones, and it does tend to amplify the situation; it presents a more complex scenario resulting in a larger response,” Murtagh said. “And after the first CME arrives, it’s hard to discern the features of the other CMEs that may follow when the existing storm is so intense. Sometimes you’ll see the term cannibalize — one CME cannibalizes another and then another. That is what happened in this situation.”

According to the SWPC, Friday’s event was the first extreme geomagnetic storm since 2003. That was the last time we had a geomagnetic storm at the G5 level; it occurred in late October that year, creating quite a spooktacular event leading up to Halloween. Murtagh said that the worst-case scenarios are almost always associated with multiple CMEs, such as the famous Carrington Event in 1859 and then the New York Railroad Superstorm in 1921.

But before we can get the sparkle of the aurora in the evening sky and the creation of geomagnetic storms from raging CMEs, we must go back to the source: large and magnetically complex sunspot clusters on the solar surface. Scientists say that such large clusters are not that unusual, but to produce so many CMEs resulting in a G5 geomagnetic storm — that usually happens only a couple of times every 11-year solar cycle.

The Sun emitted two strong solar flares on May 10-11, 2024, peaking at 9:23 p.m. EDT on May 10, and 7:44 a.m. EDT on May 11. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the events, which were classified as X5.8 and X1.5-class flares. (Photo: @NASAsun)

“We didn’t have any G5 storms in the last 11-year cycle. When a sunspot group develops, it’s typically anywhere from one to three times the size of the Earth. The magnetic complexity might produce a small flare, but not much. This was a sunspot that grew and continued to grow into the behemoth that it is right now, 15 times the size of Earth,” Murtagh said. “It’s so complex that it has erupted repeatedly over the last week.”

One full rotation for the sun takes 27 days. As we approach the end of the first half of this week, the sunspot cluster will move out of view. But until then, strong solar flares and more Earth-directed CMEs are still a possibility.

While the geomagnetic storm has given us an amazing skywatching weekend, there’s another side of the coin: potential negative impacts to technology including power grids, GPS and satellites. So far, there have been reports of some impacts, including irregularities in power grids and degradation to high-frequency communications, GPS and potentially satellite navigation. But we’ve had solar events in the past that have resulted in much more disruption.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare – as seen in the bright flash in the lower right – on May 12. The image shows a subset of extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the extremely hot material in flares and which is colorized in teal. (Photo: NASA/SDO)

One example was a X4-class solar flare in March 1989 accompanied by a CME that had a more powerful interaction with Earth’s magnetic field than predicted, which led to a grid collapse in Quebec and significant effects on the U.S. grid from the Carolinas to California. Events like that one serve as a reminder of the importance of paying attention to space weather forecasts, just like we do when it comes to inclement weather here on Earth. This allows us to prepare for the worst-case scenario if it gets to that point, as scientists still face many limitations when it comes to the final part of an Earth-directed CME’s journey toward our planet.

“It’s a bad day when we get one of the CMEs and it comes in much stronger than expected. I don’t know that until the last minute when it hits the L1 spacecraft, and now I’ve got 15 minutes before it’s impacting Earth’s magnetic field, so not a lot of lead time,” Murtagh said. (L1 is the Earth-sun Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally stable spot in space nearly 1 million miles, or 1.6 million kilometers, from our planet in the direction of the sun. The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft, a joint mission of NASA and the European Space Agency, is stationed at L1.)

Aurora seen from Lummi Island, Washington, at 10:54 p.m. PT on May 10, 2024. (Photo: Jeff Carter/ @NASASun)

“It’d be almost like telling someone we’re expecting a Category 2 hurricane and then give them 15 minutes lead time and oops, it’s actually a Cat 5. That’s our fear,” Murtagh said. “If we can produce a good forecast, they can take the mitigating actions in preparation, and guess what happens? Nothing. And that’s the objective; just lovely lights and no infrastructure loss or damage. So far, so good.”

Original article: Space.com

Tag

More on this topic

More Stories

SubscribeNewsletter@2x
Refreshing and Insights
at No Cost to You!

Cancel anytime

Latest Articles

Leave a Reply

Trending

Top Products

Contact us

Wherever & whenever you are,
we are here always.

The Middle Land

100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700 Santa Monica, CA 90401
Footer Contact

To Editor


Terms and Conditions

October, 2023

Using our website

You may use the The Middle Land website subject to the Terms and Conditions set out on this page. Visit this page regularly to check the latest Terms and Conditions. Access and use of this site constitutes your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions in-force at the time of use.

Intellectual property

Names, images and logos displayed on this site that identify The Middle Land are the intellectual property of New San Cai Inc. Copying any of this material is not permitted without prior written approval from the owner of the relevant intellectual property rights.

Requests for such approval should be directed to the competition committee.

Please provide details of your intended use of the relevant material and include your contact details including name, address, telephone number, fax number and email.

Linking policy

You do not have to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on this website. However, we do not permit our pages to be loaded directly into frames on your website. Our pages must load into the user’s entire window.

The Middle Land is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any site to which it is hyperlinked and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Linking to or from this site should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all the time and have no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Submissions 

All information, data, text, graphics or any other materials whatsoever uploaded or transmitted by you is your sole responsibility. This means that you are entirely responsible for all content you upload, post, email or otherwise transmit to the The Middle Land website.

Virus protection

We make every effort to check and test material at all stages of production. It is always recommended to run an anti-virus program on all material downloaded from the Internet. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or computer system, which may occur while using material derived from this website.

Disclaimer

The website is provided ‘as is’, without any representation or endorsement made, and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied.

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It is your responsibility to ensure any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.

We do not warrant the operation of this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy and reliability of the materials. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, loss of profits, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from the use, or loss of data, arising out of – or in connection with – the use of this website.

Privacy & Cookie Policy

October, 2023

Last Updated: October 1, 2023

New San Cai Inc. (hereinafter “The Middle Land,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) owns and operates www.themiddleland.com, its affiliated websites and applications (our “Sites”), and provides related products, services, newsletters, and other offerings (together with the Sites, our “Services”) to art lovers and visitors around the world.

This Privacy Policy (the “Policy”) is intended to provide you with information on how we collect, use, and share your personal data. We process personal data from visitors of our Sites, users of our Services, readers or bloggers (collectively, “you” or “your”). Personal data is any information about you. This Policy also describes your choices regarding use, access, and correction of your personal information.

If after reading this Policy you have additional questions or would like further information, please contact us.

PERSONAL DATA WE COLLECT AND HOW WE USE IT

We collect and process personal data only for lawful reasons, such as our legitimate business interests, your consent, or to fulfill our legal or contractual obligations.

Information You Provide to Us

Most of the information Join Talents collects is provided by you voluntarily while using our Services. We do not request highly sensitive data, such as health or medical information, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, etc. and we ask that you refrain from sending us any such information.

Here are the types of personal data that you voluntarily provide to us:

  • Name, email address, and any other contact information that you provide by filling out your profile forms
  • Billing information, such as credit card number and billing address
  • Work or professional information, such as your company or job title
  • Unique identifiers, such as username or password
  • Demographic information, such as age, education, interests, and ZIP code
  • Details of transactions and preferences from your use of the Services
  • Correspondence with other users or business that you send through our Services, as well as correspondence sent to JoinTalents.com

As a registered users or customers, you may ask us to review or retrieve emails sent to your business. We will access these emails to provide these services for you.

We use the personal data you provide to us for the following business purposes:

  • Set up and administer your account
  • Provide and improve the Services, including displaying content based on your previous transactions and preferences
  • Answer your inquiries and provide customer service
  • Send you marketing communications about our Services, including our newsletters (please see the Your Rights/Opt Out section below for how to opt out of marketing communications)
  • Communicate with users who registered their accounts on our site
  • Prevent, discover, and investigate fraud, criminal activity, or violations of our Terms and Conditions
  • Administer contests and events you entered

Information Obtained from Third-Party Sources

We collect and publish biographical and other information about users, which we use to promote the articles and our bloggers  who use our sites. If you provide personal information about others, or if others give us your information, we will only use that information for the specific reason for which it was provided.

Information We Collect by Automated Means

Log Files

The site uses your IP address to help diagnose server problems, and to administer our website. We use your IP addresses to analyze trends and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

Every time you access our Site, some data is temporarily stored and processed in a log file, such as your IP addresses, the browser types, the operating systems, the recalled page, or the date and time of the recall. This data is only evaluated for statistical purposes, such as to help us diagnose problems with our servers, to administer our sites, or to improve our Services.

Do Not Track

Your browser or device may include “Do Not Track” functionality. Our information collection and disclosure practices, and the choices that we provide to customers, will continue to operate as described in this Privacy Policy, whether or not a “Do Not Track” signal is received.

HOW WE SHARE YOUR INFORMATION

We may share your personal data with third parties only in the ways that are described in this Privacy Policy. We do not sell, rent, or lease your personal data to third parties, and We does not transfer your personal data to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

We may share your personal data with third parties as follows:

  • With service providers under contract to help provide the Services and assist us with our business operations (such as our direct marketing, payment processing, fraud investigations, bill collection, affiliate and rewards programs)
  • As required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal process, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements
  • When we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect rights or safety, investigate fraud, or respond to a government request
  • With other users of the Services that you interact with to help you complete a transaction

There may be other instances where we share your personal data with third parties based on your consent.

HOW WE STORE AND SECURE YOUR INFORMATION

We retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you Services. If you wish to cancel your account or request that we no longer use your personal data, contact us. We will retain and use your personal data as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

All you and our data are stored in the server in the United States, we do not sales or transfer your personal data to the third party. All information you provide is stored on a secure server, and we generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal data we process both during transmission and once received.

YOUR RIGHTS/OPT OUT

You may correct, update, amend, delete/remove, or deactivate your account and personal data by making the change on your Blog on www.themiddleland.com or by emailing our customer service. We will respond to your request within a reasonable timeframe.

You may choose to stop receiving Join Talents newsletters or marketing emails at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions included in those communications, or you can contact us.

LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES

The Middle Land include links to other websites whose privacy practices may differ from that of ours. If you submit personal data to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy statements. We encourage you to carefully read the Privacy Policy of any website you visit.

NOTE TO PARENTS OR GUARDIANS

Our Services are not intended for use by children, and we do not knowingly or intentionally solicit data from or market to children under the age of 18. We reserve the right to delete the child’s information and the child’s registration on the Sites.

PRIVACY POLICY CHANGES

We may update this Privacy Policy to reflect changes to our personal data processing practices. If any material changes are made, we will notify you on the Sites prior to the change becoming effective. You are encouraged to periodically review this Policy.

HOW TO CONTACT US

If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, please contact customer service or send us mail at:

The Middle Land/New San Cai
100 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401
USA

Article Submission


Logout

Are you sure? Do you want to logout of the account?

New Programs Added to Your Plan

March 2, 2023

The Michelin brothers created the guide, which included information like maps, car mechanics listings, hotels and petrol stations across France to spur demand.

The guide began to award stars to fine dining restaurants in 1926.

At first, they offered just one star, the concept was expanded in 1931 to include one, two and three stars. One star establishments represent a “very good restaurant in its category”. Two honour “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and three reward “exceptional cuisine, worth a

 

February 28, 2023        Hiring Journalists all hands apply

January 18, 2023          Hiring Journalists all hands apply

More

Leave a Reply

Forgot Password ?

Please enter your email id or user name to
recover your password

Roaster-JT
Thank you for your participation!
Back to Home
Roaster-JT
Thank you for your subscription!
Please check your email to activate your account.
Back to Home
Roaster-JT
Thank you for your participation!
Please check your email for the results.
Back to Home
Roaster-JT
Thank you for your participation!
Please check your email to activate your account.
Back to Home

Login to Vote!

Thank you for your participation,
please Log in or Sign up to Vote

Thank you for your Comment

Back to Home

Reply To:

New Programs Added to Your Plan


Login Now

123Sign in to your account