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Sun sets off solar storm that could affect power grid and satellites – and create swirling northern lights

·1-min read
Sun sets off solar storm that could affect power grid and satellites – and create swirling northern lights

Small geomagnetic storms could hit the Earth after the Sun spat out plasma, experts have said.

The minor storms could affect some equipment on Earth as well as making aurora visible in some northerly places, experts say.

The coronal mass ejection unleashed by the Sun is expected to sideswipe Earth’s magnetic field, experts warned.

But there is no reason to worry, despite some reports that suggest there is cause for concern, and any effects are likely to be very limited.

The Met Office said that the CME will probably arrive late on Saturday or early on Sunday.

There is thought to be a 30 per cent chance that it will lead to a minor or G1 class storm, which will probably peak on the Sunday, it said.

Geomagnetic storms are classed on a scale that begins with G1 and goes up from there, with G2 being twice as powerful as G1, and so on.

A G1 class storm can lead to small fluctuations in the power grid, some effects on satellites as well as the possibility of aurora.

There could be some more geomagnetic activity than expected if there is a second “coronal hole” that comes into effect at the same time, the Met Office warned. It was unclear how likely that was and when it might arrive, but it is clear that the effects would only be small, it said.

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