Geomagnetic Storm

Geomagnetic Storm

News: Recently, Earth has been hit by a powerful Geomagnetic Storm, having a severity grade of G4 according to mthe US National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

What does G4 severity imply?
• Severity grade of G4, which is the second-highest grade possible, can potentially cause widespread voltage control problems for power grids. It can also cause protection systems to mistakenly trip key electric assets of the grid.

What is a Geomagnetic storm?
• A geomagnetic storm refers to the disruptions to the Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar emissions.
• When a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) or a high-speed solar stream reaches our planet, it slams into the magnetosphere. The Earth’s magnetosphere is created by its magnetic fields and it usually protects us from the particles emitted by the Sun.
• When a CME or a high-speed stream arrives at Earth, it peels open the planet’s magnetosphere, kind of like an onion. This allows energetic solar wind particles to stream down and hit our atmosphere over the poles. Solar weather events like this can also supercharge auroras, sometimes making them visible in places where they wouldn’t have been otherwise.

Impact of Geomagnetic Storm:
• Impact space weather in near Earth space and the upper atmosphere.
• It can hit space dependent services like GPS, radio, satellite communications, aircraft operations can also get vulnerable.
• It can potentially create disturbances in the magnetosphere, the protective shield surrounding the Earth.
• Astronauts on spacewalks face health risks from possible exposure to solar radiation outside the Earth’s protective atmosphere.

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