Northern lights threaten radio comms – expert

Northern lights threaten radio comms - expert
Photo: Terje Rakke/Nordic Life
A Norwegian scientist has warned that recent powerful eruptions on the sun could trigger powerful northern lights in southern Norway on Thursday, causing interference to radio communications.

sunspot large enough to be seen with the naked eye has caused a series of explosions on the sun's surface, according to astrophysicist Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard.

Ødegaard has forecast a powerful display of the northern lights in southern Norway on Thursday morning and warned that the powerful geomagnetic storm could have consequences for satellite and radiocommunications.

"The cloud from the blast is expected to hit Earth on Thursday March 8th at around 7.25am Norwegian time and can trigger a strong to very strong geomagnetic storm, possibly in the extreme. This involves disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field, strong aurora very far to the south, including southern Norway," he said.

Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard explained that huge clouds of electrically charged gas were hurled into space and hit the Earth on Wednesday, with even stronger eruptions, a so-called X5, taking place at 1.28am on Wednesday morning.

He said that the outbreak is so powerful that there is also a risk of interference to radio communications and systems for satellite navigation.

"Satellites can be affected and there is some danger that the power supply can suffer interference in some locations in the northern latitudes."

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