Dangerous G3-class geomagnetic storm to STRIKE the Earth today, NOAA issues warning

NOAA forecasters have revealed that a geomagnetic storm, as strong as G3-class, can strike the Earth today, May 12. Know the consequences of the storm.

| Updated on: May 12 2023, 12:33 IST
Think you know our Sun? Check out THESE 5 stunning facts
1/5 The Sun is the largest object in our solar system and is a 4.5 billion-year-old star – a hot glowing ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of the solar system. It is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from Earth, and without its energy, life as we know it could not exist here on our home planet. (Pixabay)
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2/5 The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything from the biggest planets to the smallest bits of debris in orbit around it. The hottest part of the Sun is its core, where temperatures top 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (15 million degrees Celsius). The Sun’s activity, from its powerful eruptions to the steady stream of charged particles it sends out, influences the nature of space throughout the solar system. (NASA)
3/5 According to NASA, measuring a “day” on the Sun is complicated because of the way it rotates. It doesn't spin as a single, solid ball. This is because the Sun’s surface isn't solid like Earth's. Instead, the Sun is made of super-hot, electrically charged gas called plasma. This plasma rotates at different speeds on different parts of the Sun. At its equator, the Sun completes one rotation in 25 Earth days. At its poles, the Sun rotates once on its axis every 36 Earth days. (NASA)
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4/5 Above the Sun’s surface are its thin chromosphere and the huge corona (crown). This is where we see features such as solar prominences, flares, and coronal mass ejections. The latter two are giant explosions of energy and particles that can reach Earth. (Pixabay)
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5/5 The Sun doesn’t have moons, but eight planets orbit it, at least five dwarf planets, tens of thousands of asteroids, and perhaps three trillion comets and icy bodies. Also, several spacecraft are currently investigating the Sun including Parker Solar Probe, STEREO, Solar Orbiter, SOHO, Solar Dynamics Observatory, Hinode, IRIS, and Wind. (Pixabay)
Geomagnetic storm
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Know all about the powerful G3-class geomagnetic storm that is scheduled to hit the Earth today. (Pixabay)

The early forecast revealed that a large cloud of coronal mass ejection (CME) that escaped the Sun over the weekend after a solar flare eruption, was scheduled to hit the Earth yesterday, May 11. But it never came, confusing the space weather scientists. But now, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prediction has revealed that the CME hit is expected today instead. The powerful solar particles are likely to spike G3-class geomagnetic storms, which are fairly strong.

In its 3-day forecast, NOAA stated, “The greatest expected 3 hr Kp for May 12-May 14 2023 is 5.67 (NOAA Scale G3). G1-G3 (Minor-Moderate) geomagnetic storms are likely on 12

May due to CME influence”. It should be noted that the intensity of the storm can change as NOAA continuously updates the value as per the latest data.

NOAA warns of a powerful geomagnetic storm

In April, the Earth was hit by a G3-class geomagnetic storm which not only delayed a SpaceX rocket launch but also forced oil rigs in Canada to stop operations due to an increase in static electricity in the environment. A similar storm can cause a lot of damage in theory.

Storms like these can do more damage than usual. They can damage small satellites, impact mobile networks, GPS, and even pose a threat to ground-based electronics and power grids by increasing the magnetic potential by huge amounts.

The aurora effect can also be seen much further south than normal. NOAA has predicted aurora show can be seen as far as Oregon, Nebraska, and Virginia.

Know how NOAA monitors the Sun

While many space agencies from NASA with its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) keep track of Sun-based weather phenomena, one that particularly stands out is the DSCOVR satellite by NOAA. The satellite became operational in 2016 and tracks different measurements of the Sun and its atmosphere including temperature, speed, density, degree of orientation and frequency of the solar particles. The recovered data is then run through the Space Weather Prediction Center and the final analysis is prepared.

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First Published Date: 12 May, 12:32 IST