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STRONG GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS

Animated Satellite Image of the SunJune 8, 2000 — NOAA reports that a strong geomagnetic storm began at 5:09 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 8, when the storm reached Earth's magnetic field. The storm is rated a category G3 on the NOAA Space Weather Scales. The storm is a consequence of the major flare and coronal mass ejection (CME) that occurred on Tuesday, June 6 and is expected to continue through June 9, then gradually subside. The storm is being monitored by NOAA's Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo. (Animation of the sun was made from imges taken by the NASA/European Space Agency SOHO satellite from June 6-8, 2000.)

This storm may cause some or all effects on the following: power system grids may require voltage corrections, false alarms may be triggered on protection devices, and high "gas-in-oil" transformer readings may occur; spacecraft may experience surface charging, increased drag, and orientation problems may need corrections; HF (high-frequency) radio propagation may be intermittent; intermittent low-frequency radio navigation and satellite navigation problems may occur.

As geomagnetic activity increases, the possibility of viewing the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights, is more likely. When geomagnetic activity is very high, the Aurora may be seen at mid and low latitude locations around the Earth that would otherwise rarely experience the polar lights.

Further considerations on viewing the Aurora are the weather conditions (a clear night) at your location, and light pollution from city lights, full moon and so forth. Also remember that the Aurora can be seen from your location even though it may not be overhead. The Aurora is easily visible even when its boundary is 4 or 5 degrees polward of your location. For example, if you were located in Washington, DC, or Boston, Mass., you would be able to see the Aurora if it were over Toronto, Canada. The best viewing time for Aurora is around your local Midnight.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA's Space Weather


NOAA's Space Environment Center

NOAA's Space Weather Scales

NOAA Space Weather Advisories

Today's Space Weather Forecast
— Includes the latest image of the sun from Earth-based telescopes positioned around the world.

Real-time images of the Sun from NASA's SOHO Satellite


SPACE WEATHER - WHAT IS IT AND WHY DO WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT?

NEW NOAA SPACE WEATHER SCALES MAKE SOLAR MAX EFFECTS MORE PREDICTABLE


Media Contact:
Barbara McGehan, NOAA Space Environment Center, Boulder, Colo., at (303) 497-6288.