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Solar tempest ready to create more amazing auroras

Wade Kitner looks at the northern lights as he fishes in Ventura, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Federal forecasters said the Northern Lights may be able to be seen Tuesday night as far south as Iowa or Pennsylvania because of a severe solar storm that hit the Earth on Monday and pushes auroras to places where more people can possibly see them.
Wade Kitner looks at the northern lights as he fishes in Ventura, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Federal forecasters said the Northern Lights may be able to be seen Tuesday night as far south as Iowa or Pennsylvania because of a severe solar storm that hit the Earth on Monday and pushes auroras to places where more people can possibly see them. AP

While a “severe” solar storm that sparked dazzling auroras around the world on Monday through Tuesday morning is dying down now, skywatchers shouldn’t stop looking up quite yet.

Another potentially powerful solar tempest is expected to impact Earth on Wednesday into Thursday, and it could create more amazing auroras for people in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

According to experts at the National Space Weather Prediction Center, the next solar storm is especially well aimed to enhancing aurora activity over North America. Monday’s solar storm hit the G4 or “severe” level, a relatively rare class of storm that can create bright auroras in relatively low latitudes. Such G4 storms - the rating scale goes up to G5- can also cause problems with power grids on Earth and harm satellites in space.

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