The Sun Sneezes, Earth Braces

Our Sun is a star, one of many, many millions in our galactic neighborhood; it's big and yellow only because it's a lot closer than the other stars you may see at night. It's not anything special as stars go, kind of a middling star really. Stars don't just twinkle romantically on clear evenings, they are nuclear furnaces where incredible forces are at work, and can be very volatile. Our own Sun belches and burps out plasma and other goodies from time to time. This weekend, we should be on the receiving end of a stream from a Coronal Mass Ejection - which may allow us some better that normal auroras, and hopefully nothing more severe than that.
The official US government space weather centre's latest forecast as this is written says there is a 55 per cent chance of a "severe" geomagnetic storm on the 24th, and a 25 per cent chance the storm will be only "minor". However that's for regions near the poles; most of us face only a 20 per cent chance of minor effects and just 5 per cent likelihood of severe ones.
Duck and cover!

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