Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Geomagnetic storm hitting Earth could disrupt power globally

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The last storm occurred on 2003 affected Sweden and South Africa

(Web Desk) – A rare and potent geomagnetic storm is set to hit Earth this weekend, potentially triggering power outages worldwide, scientists warn.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has escalated its alert from G4 to G5, marking it as the most severe on the geomagnetic storm scale. This unusual atmospheric phenomenon commenced late Friday and is anticipated to persist throughout the weekend.

According to NOAA, this is the most significant alert issued in over twenty years, with the last G5 storm striking Earth back in October 2003.

Experts caution that the intensity of the geomagnetic storm could disrupt power grids and electronics globally, citing previous incidents like power outages in Sweden and transformer damage in South Africa during the 2003 event.

While the storm poses potential risks, it also offers a rare spectacle for residents in the US, as far south as Alabama and Northern California, who may have the opportunity to witness the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights. 

Scientists attribute the northern lights to disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar flares and clouds of magnetic particles from the sun.

In light of the impending G5 electromagnetic storm, NOAA has issued alerts to power plant operators and spacecraft agencies worldwide, urging precautionary measures.

The agency warns of potential voltage control issues, disruptions to spacecraft operations, and degradation of satellite and radio navigation systems on a global scale. 

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