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Northern lights ahead for USA Monday night

2:22 PM, Sep 1, 2012   |    comments
Photo by NASA/SDO/GSFC Eruption of the Aug. 31 solar filament responsible for the Monday geomagnetic storm
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By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
A solar storm means northern lights may flare across nighttime skies of northern states, stretching from New York to Washington, say federal space weather officials.

The moderate "G2" geomagnetic storm predicted for Monday was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center on Saturday. The storm springs from a solar outburst noted on Friday by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

"Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms," north of 55 degrees northern latitude, warns the advisory. Radio signals may also suffer in northern regions and spacecraft may be affected as well.

The sun is currently in the strengthening phase of its roughly 11-year solar cycle, with solar storms expected to affect Earth on a monthly basis for the next year.


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