By Sally Garcia, EnStarz | Jul 14, 2012 04:43 PM EDT
The shock from a powerful eruption on the sun Thursday, has passed the ACE spacecraft Saturday, meaning it will cause an imminent disturbance to the Earth's geomagnetic field, the National Space Weather Prediction Center said.
"The shock passed the ACE spacecraft at approximately 1730 UTC (1:30 p.m. EDT) today, July 14," the Center said on its latest report at 2:28 p.m. Saturday. The spacecraft sensors energetic particles arriving to Earth from the Sun
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"Now watch for the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) and then, the imminent disturbance to the geomagnetic field," the Center said on its report.
A coronal mass ejection is a massive burst of solar wind and magnetic fields
The geomagnetic storm levels are expected to reach a G1 (minor) or G2 (moderate) magnitude in the next 36 hours.
G1 levels can cause weak fluctuations on power grids and auroras commonly visible at higher altitudes in Northern Michigan and Maine.
G2 Geomagnetic Storms can cause power systems to experience voltage alarms and long-duration storms may cause transformer damage. It can also affect spacecraft operations and auroras visible as low as New York and Idaho.
When reporting space weather, the spaceship provides an advance warning about one hour of geomagnetic storms , according to the spacecraft's website.
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