the phenomenon should happen again this Saturday evening, how can we see it?

A solar storm extreme the first of this level since 2003, began Friday evening to hit the Earth and is expected to continue next night, generating impressive northern lights, but also raising fears of disruptions to electrical and communications networks.

GPS, power grids, spacecraft, navigation satellites and other technologies may be affected , announced the American Oceanic and Atmospheric Observation Agency (NOAA). This storm is caused by the arrival on Earth of a series of coronal mass ejections from the Sun.

Will the phenomenon happen again?

It’s about explosions of energetic particles and magnetic fields from the sun , explained Shawn Dahl, of the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC), attached to NOAA. The storm is expected to continue through the weekend, with the arrival of additional coronal mass ejections. This needs to be monitored, the latest indicators are quite high notes Frédéric Brion, president of the Nantes Astronomical Society. We have a large group of spots on the Sun causing all this, it is visible to the naked eye with adequate protection he continues

The first of these ejections, very strong reached Earth on Friday around 4:30 p.m. GMT. The Sun follows a 10-13 year activity cycle, with peak activity every 10-13 years explains on X, Eric Lagadec, astrophysicist. The next peak is expected in 2025, so we have more and more eruptions. During an eruption, gas (plasma) from the sun can be heated to 100 million degrees .

▶READ ALSO. “It was magical”, “incredible”: northern lights observed in Loire-Atlantique

On good spots, far from the lights, with a clear view to the north . When will this phenomenon be visible this Saturday, May 11, 2024? You have to watch for the start of night indicates Frédéric Brion, president of the Nantes Astronomical Society.

Your photos taken in Loire-Atlantique

We share with you here and in this article different photos taken by our readers. You too can still send us some: [email protected]

“Photo taken in the south of Nantes at La Chevrolière between 12:15 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. at the peak of dawn. The Astronomical Society of Nantes was observing and it was magnificent.” | PHOTO SENT BY FRÉDÉRIC AND CLÉMENT BRION
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“Photo taken in the south of Nantes at La Chevrolière between 12:15 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. at the peak of dawn. The Astronomical Society of Nantes was observing and it was magnificent.” | PHOTO SENT BY FRÉDÉRIC AND CLÉMENT BRION
“Photo taken between 00 a.m. and 1 a.m. last night (with an iPhone) south of Nantes (La Limouzinière)”. | PHOTO SENT BY FABIENNE PAUGAM ARZUR
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“Photo taken between 00 a.m. and 1 a.m. last night (with an iPhone) south of Nantes (La Limouzinière)”. | PHOTO SENT BY FABIENNE PAUGAM ARZUR
“Photo taken in Vieillevigne”. | PHOTO SENT BY SAMY BSIR
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“Photo taken in Vieillevigne”. | PHOTO SENT BY SAMY BSIR
“Photo taken last night between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., not retouched just taken with iPhone, in Monnières.” | PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CYNTHIA DESMAS
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“Photo taken last night between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., not retouched just taken with iPhone, in Monnières.” | PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CYNTHIA DESMAS
“Photo taken last night between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., not retouched just taken with iPhone, in Monnières.” | PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CYNTHIA DESMAS
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“Photo taken last night between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., not retouched just taken with iPhone, in Monnières.” | PHOTO SUBMITTED BY CYNTHIA DESMAS

Are there any risks for individuals?

Satellite, communications and power grid operators in North America have been notified to take precautionary measures, said Shawn Dahl of the SWPC. He recommended residents equip themselves with batteries or potentially generators, as with any other storm warning.

Electric operators have worked for ten years to better protect their networks, however, reassured Rob Steenburgh, scientist at SWPC. The effects can only occur on high voltage lines, not in individuals, and systems comparable to circuit breakers exist.

“Photo taken between 00 a.m. and 1 a.m. last night (with an iPhone) south of Nantes (La Limouzinière)”. | PHOTO SENT BY FABIENNE PAUGAM ARZUR
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“Photo taken between 00 a.m. and 1 a.m. last night (with an iPhone) south of Nantes (La Limouzinière)”. | PHOTO SENT BY FABIENNE PAUGAM ARZUR

And in space?

He also indicated that his agency was in very regular contact with NASA, which ensures the safety of astronauts in the International Space Station (ISS), who are more vulnerable to solar radiation.

A radiation alert has also been issued, but only 1 on a scale of 5, so not causing concern at this time.

Billionaire Elon Musk, whose Starlink internet network has some 5,000 satellites in low orbit, wanted to be reassuring. Starlink satellites are under a lot of pressure, but so far they’re holding up he assured on his social network, X.

“Photo taken in Vieillevigne”. | PHOTO SENT BY SAMY BSIR
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“Photo taken in Vieillevigne”. | PHOTO SENT BY SAMY BSIR

And about air traffic?

Regarding air traffic, the United States Civil Aviation Agency (FAA) said not expecting significant consequences .

Geomagnetic storms can disrupt navigation tools and high-frequency radio transmissions, the US air regulator said, adding that it has advised airlines and pilots to anticipate possible disruptions.

The largest solar storm ever recorded occurred in 1859, according to NASA. Also known as the Carrington event, it seriously disrupted telegraph communications.

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