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Sunday Night Brought a High Geomagnetic Storm

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

A strong geomagnetic storm hit the Earth on Sunday, giving night owls a light show. This image was shared on Facebook by the National Weather Service in Aberdeen, South Dakota of the Northern Lights at 12:30 am CST at the weather service office.

Northern Lights, Aurora Lights, South Dakota, Aberdeen
Photo Credit: National Weather Service in Aberdeen, SD

The strong (G3) Geomagnetic Storm was reached at 5:40 pm UTC (11:40 am CST) on Sunday. The total magnetic field strength peaked at 45 nT at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite at 11:51 am UTC (5:51 am CST) and then remained elevated for some time.

What causes a geomagnetic storm? A geomagnetic storm is a disturbance of the Earth's magnetic field caused by a burst of radiation and charged particles from the sun, also known as the solar wind. Once the solar wind hits the Earth's magnetic field, depending on the strength of the storm, the Northern Lights can become visible.


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