A picture of a solar flare from 2011 and a CMEWhat is a solar storm?
In an emailed statement to Newsweek, NOAA Space Weather Forecast Center chief Robert Rutledge told the publication that reports of a "massive" geomagnetic storm affecting our planet on March 18 may have been blown out of proportion.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an organization that predicts weather on Earth and space.
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"The storm is impressive by recent standards, but nowhere near the maximum intensities often generated at the height of the solar cycle".
Apparently, NOAA has no idea what is this all about as and how did Russians come up with that information. This would merely be classified as a G1 storm, which would be the least intense type of event based on NOAA's geomagnetic storm scale, with G5 storms being the "most extreme" in nature.
The arrival of the solar storm coincides with the formation of "equinox cracks" in Earth's magnetic field, which form around the equinoxes on March 20 and September 23 every year.
Usually, geomagnetic storms are cataloged in 5 different main levels depending on the magnitude, from G1 to G5 levels of geomagnetic storms' magnitudes. If the charged particles have a stronger effect on Earth, it could be considered a G-2 "moderate storm".
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It can disrupt technology such as power grids and communication satellites.
The SWPC says that the northern lights could be seen as far south as ME and MI thanks to the stream of charged particles heading our way. Over a century later in Canada, on March 13, 1989, a geomagnetic storm caused a major blackout in the country that lasted nine hours, disrupting electricity from the Hydro Quebec generating station and going as far as melting power transformers in New Jersey. The storm could result in blackouts and jeopardize communication satellites, and thus all telecommunication on Earth. They have been fairly common as of late, with the March 18 storm being the third already in 2018, but some are larger than others.
Just because this storm isn't up to the hype doesn't mean that solar storms in general should be ignored.
On the other hand, a solar storm can create a magical display of the northern and southern lights.
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