Typically, the new year is met with fireworks lighting up the sky, but this year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center
said a powerful solar storm, set to hit earth today, will make for "stunning views of the Northern Lights just before New Year's Eve," ABC News
On a scale from one to five, the NOAA is classifying the solar storm as a G3 event — powerful enough for the Northern Lights to dip as far south as Oregon and Illinois.
According to ABC News, the projected storm is the product of a coronal mass ejection — a flare of charged protons and electrons — that burst from the sun earlier this week. As the particles from the sun interact with the Earth's magnetic field, the NOAA says that the result is a beautifully lit sky with stunning colors.
Despite its beauty, ABC News reports that the strong storm could "cause fluctuations in some power grids, intermittent radio blackouts in higher latitudes and possible GPS issues."
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