Space weather researchers predict that a powerful geomagnetic storm triggered by the sun could affect Earth later this week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center issued a geomagnetic storm watch on Wednesday.
This is because of the recent explosions on the sun that have triggered powerful solar flares and multiple "coronal mass ejections" that are expected to reach Earth on Thursday.
NOAA describes a geomagnetic storm as "a significant disturbance of Earth's magnetosphere that happens when there is a highly efficient exchange of energy between the solar wind and Earth's space environment."
NOAA states, "The greatest storms that emerge from these conditions are connected with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) in which approximately a billion tonnes of plasma from the sun with its embedded magnetic field arrives at Earth."
While most of this week's disturbances are anticipated to have little to no influence, there is a potential that the anticipated storm will reach a level 3 on the geomagnetic storm scale.
NOAA stated that this might cause power grid fluctuations and temporary satellite, radio, and GPS communications disruptions.
The advent of the geomagnetic storm means that the northern lights may be visible as far south as Iowa on Thursday.