Severe solar storm bathes northern skies in dazzling green auroras (w/video)

March 17, 2015 10:56 PM

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WASHINGTON — A severe geomagnetic storm whipped through Earth's magnetosphere on Tuesday, causing fluctuations on power grids and spawning a beautiful green, St. Patrick's Day-themed aurora that stretched from the Arctic Circle to as far south as Oregon and Illinois.

The storm, which began late Monday, is among the strongest in the current 11-year solar cycle, earning a rating of a "severe" G4 on a one to five scale, which means it had the potential to affect power grids, high-frequency communications and satellite operations.

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