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Earth suffers strong storm and shock

Gorgeous lower-altitude auroras during a major geomagnetic storm in Thatcher, UT on Aug. 6
Gorgeous lower-altitude auroras during a major geomagnetic storm in Thatcher, UT on Aug. 6
Scott Lowther

A massive geomagnetic storm is affecting the earth today according to NASA. The storm arrived in our atmosphere just after 7:30 Monday morning. It is the result of a Coronal Mass Ejection that erupted from the sun or a large solar flare hurdling charged particles toward the Earth.

You may just get to see some 'northern lights' associated with this raging storm. Typically the sun produces explosions continously, however we don't usually see the radiation headed toward earth.

The current bursts of energy will strike our atmosphere and weird things happen...such as your GPS unit may not work properly.

Joe Kunches with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says "these charged particles striking our atmosphere are like dumping gasoline on a fire. Everything is hotter." Mr. Kunches says the solar flare season has just begun and this should last about 11 years.

Sky watchers will love what they see outdoors as the 'northern lights' will be more prominent in the northern sections of the United States. Areas as far south as Colorado might see this display.

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Michael Detwiler is a nationally-known weather observer based in Cookeville, TN. His website, Cookeville Weather Guy, is updated daily. Michael can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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