A geomagnetic storm that took place on the sun yesterday hasbeen classified by the NOAA Space Environment Center inBoulder, Colorado as an "extreme event," measuing G-5, whichis the highest level on the NOAA Space Weather Scale.
The K-Index, which measures the degree of deviation ofEarth's magnetic field over three-hour periods, registered9, the highest possible number, meaning that our magneticfield has been deviated away from the sun as far as isbelieved to be possible.
There may be significant impacts from this geomagneticstorm, including power system voltage control problems, gridsystems experiencing complete collapse and blackouts.Transformers may be damaged, and spacecraft and satellitesmay experience surface charging that could cause orientationproblems and onboard voltage overloads. Low-frequency radionavigation and satellite uplink/downlink are likely to beaffected, also.
The solar flare that led to this geomagnetic storm tookplace on Friday the 13th. Flaring and storms of thisintensity are all but unknown during this phase of a normalsolar cycle. Although solar scientists are generallyunwilling to state this, and point to the fact that flaresare observed at all times during the solar cycle, activityof this intensity, in fact, has not been recorded beforeduring the sun's quiet periods.
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