A solar storm hit Earth on Saturday, sparking bright auroras over Canada and surprising scientists who monitor space weather.
On the evening of June 25, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued an alert on its website stating that a G1-class geomagnetic storm was expected to occur through the night and into the following morning.
Geomagnetic storms are major disturbances of the Earth’s magnetic field that occur when energy from the sun collides with our planet. These storms can create electric charges that interfere with the operation of power grids and also affect communication and navigation systems. It’s the job of space weather experts to monitor the sun’s activity to provide predictions as to when these storms might occur.