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From orbit, astronauts and satellites capture the majesty of the aurora borealis

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In Science and Space: The view from directly above the Aurora Borealis is spectacular, but what about the view from above? Astronauts living on the International Space Station enjoy watching aurora activity intensify from 200 miles above Earth.

Geomagnetic storms created by flares from the Sun are producing colorful auroras that are expected to dazzle even the northern United States this week.

“Absolutely spectacular Aurora today!!!” he tweeted. “Thanks to recent solar activity for these amazing sights!”

On Earth, people in the northern United States have already witnessed the green glow of the northern lights from geomagnetic storms.

SWPC’s William Murtah explains that when these coronal mass ejections eject billion tons of plasma into the Earth’s atmosphere, they create disturbances or geomagnetic storms.

There were two eruptions, and the second major episode overtook the first in space, so the event is known as the Cannibal Coronal Mass Ejection. Most people don’t need to worry about the effects of geomagnetic storms. However, NOAA warns that power grid fluctuations can occur, satellite anomalies can occur, and radio and GPS signals can temporarily drop out or become weak. .

“When we reach Levels 4 and 5 (Storm), many of the technologies that we rely on for everything we do today can have serious problems,” said Murtah. “It affects satellites, communication systems, and especially power grids.” According to NOAA, this level 3 geomagnetic storm can produce auroras in northern states and can be seen as far as Pennsylvania, Iowa and northern Oregon.

According to the European Space Agency, an astronaut is exposed to the equivalent of a year’s worth of radiation every week he is on Earth. NASA and ESA limit the radiation exposure of astronauts during their space careers. In July, another geomagnetic storm created a blinding light show across North America and even Seattle.

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The Earth’s atmosphere protects people on Earth from solar radiation. Astronauts are more susceptible to radiation in low Earth orbit. This is one of the factors NASA astronauts consider space weather to in mission control before he leaves the ISS for a spacewalk. Geomagnetic storms can also affect the International Space Station and eventually astronauts living on the Moon and Mars.

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