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A rare geomagnetic storm is heading to Earth — here’s what it means for critical infrastructure

A power line against a purple night sky.
An aurora borealis glows a faint purple in the night sky in the district of Märkisch-Oderland in East Brandenburg. | Photo: Getty Images

The National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) issued a rare “severe” geomagnetic storm watch for the US for Friday night. The Met Office weather service also issued a similar watch for the UK for Friday and Saturday. They’re worried about coronal mass ejections (CMEs), explosions of plasma and magnetized particles coming from the Sun, that could potentially impact critical infrastructure, including the power grid, internet cables, and satellites.

This is the first time since 2005 that the SWPC has issued a watch for a storm rated as G4, which is the scale’s second-highest rating. Critical infrastructure operators have been notified so they can take precautions, the center says.

Worst-case scenario, all those…

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