After the news broke out about a massive geomagnetic storm traversing the space towards Earth on March 18 went viral, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other competent space weather organizations debunked the news stating that the intensity of the upcoming storm was exaggerated. After NOAA debunked the exaggerated information, news portal started amending their articles on the matter. The upcoming storm belongs to a G1 category which makes it the minor on an index that indicates the severity of these storms. The Space Weather Prediction Center has forecasted that there will be a G1 category storm for the nights of March 14 and March 15 that will give rise to the Northern Lights around North America and Canada.
According to the reports, when the geomagnetic storm will pass through Earth’s geomagnetic field, it will cause minor disturbance due to fast solar wind speed. It will further give rise to Co-rotating Interaction Region (CIR) and Coronal Hole High-Speed Stream (CH HSS) that will collectively increase the display of auroras in the northern region. CIR can be explained with the fact that when solar wind spirals and leaves or emits from the Sun, the leading edge moves slighting faster than the trailing edge that piles up in the latter causing dense ribbon of solar particles between the region where these two winds meet and this ribbon is called as Co-rotating Interaction Region (CIR). Particles in this region have their own strong magnetic field that affects Earth’s geomagnetic field. This CIR plunge into the high-speed solar wind and plunge into the Earth’s atmosphere where it creates auroras after meeting the Earth’s geomagnetic field.
On the other hand, CH HSS is caused due to openings in the outermost surface of the Sun called Corona. Although normally this layer prohibits any particle to protrude it, however, in the case when openings are created, these solar particles are sped up towards Earth and thus, it is called coronal holes. According to NOAA, March 2018 is one of the highly active months for geomagnetic activity since it seems likes these activities called as Equinox Cracks keep dominating in the month of March. There is a pattern that is followed to create equinox cracks which will further improve the display of majestic Northern Lights.