The dazzling northern lights could light up the skies as far south as the northern United States after the detection of 17 solar eruptions blasting from a single sunspot, two of which are headed straight to Earth.
The two Earth-directed eruptions have merged into a "cannibal coronal mass ejection" and are barreling toward us at 1,881,263 miles per hour (3,027,599 kilometers per hour).
When it crashes into the Earth's magnetic field on the night of March 30, the result will be a powerful G3 geomagnetic storm, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC).
The sunspot, called AR2975, has been shooting out flares of electrically charged particles from the Sun's plasma soup since Monday (March 28).
Sunspots are areas on the Sun's surface where powerful magnetic fields, created by the flow of electrical charges, knot into kinks before suddenly snapping. The resulting release of energy launches bursts of radiation called solar flares, or explosive jets of solar material called coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
Cannibal coronal mass ejections happen when fast-moving solar eruptions overtake earlier eruptions in the same region of space, sweeping up charged particles to form a giant, combined wavefront that triggers a powerful geomagnetic storm.
The "frenzy" of solar flares meant that "at least two full-halo [Earth striking] CMEs emerged from the chaos," SpaceWeather.com wrote of the event. The second CME is expected to overtake and "cannibalize" the first before hitting Earth's magnetic field at around 11 pm ET time on March 30.
CMEs usually take around 15 to 18 hours to reach Earth, according to the SWPC.
When they do, the Earth's magnetic field gets compressed slightly by the waves of highly energetic particles, which ripple down magnetic field lines and agitate molecules in the atmosphere, releasing energy in the form of light to create colorful auroras in the night sky.
The energy from the storm is expected to be harmlessly absorbed by our magnetic field, but large solar storms still have the potential to wreak havoc. G3 storms can cause "intermittent satellite navigation and low-frequency radio navigation problems," according to SWPC.
A recent storm in February sent 40 Starlink satellites tumbling back to Earth, Live Science previously reported, and scientists have warned that an even larger one could have the potential to cripple the internet across the globe.
After slamming into the Earth, the powerful stream of solar particles fried telegram systems all over the world and caused auroras brighter than the light of the full Moon to appear as far south as the Caribbean.