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Weeklong geomagnetic storm alert issued

Coronal mass ejection recorded by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory on June 6 (Click "reload" on browser to replay animation)  

June 6, 2000
Web posted at: 9:32 PM EDT (0132 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center has issued an outlook for strong geomagnetic storms during a weeklong period beginning Wednesday. A category G3 storm is predicted for Thursday and Friday.

Geomagnetic storms occur when bubbles of charged gas erupt off the sun, washing out over the planets in the solar system. The Earth's natural electromagnetic field shields the planet from the most harmful effects of the storm, but some adverse consequences may occur.

The NOAA Space Weather Scale rates geomagnetic storms on a scale of G1 (minor) to G5 (extreme).

Category G3 storm levels may cause the following effects:

  MESSAGE BOARD
 
  • Power system grids may require voltage corrections, and false alarms may be triggered on grid protection devices.

    solar flare
    A solar flare erupts from the upper left central region of the sun, right before a powerful coronal mass ejection  
  • Spacecraft may experience surface "charging" -- meaning an electrical charge could affect electronic systems onboard. Spacecraft could experience orientation problems that could require correction.


  • High-frequency radio signals may be interrupted.


  • Low-frequency radio navigation and satellite navigation problems may occur.


  • The aurora borealis, or northern lights, may be visible beyond its normal range, possibly in the northern part of the continental United States.





  • RELATED STORIES:
    Solar observatory films planet parade
    May 8, 2000

    RELATED SITES:
    Space Weather
    Solar and Heliospheric Observatory
    NOAA Space Environment Center

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