Magnetic storm lesser known facts: How is it caused and other FAQs

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Magnetic storm lesser known facts: How is it caused and other FAQs

According to the SWPC, it's possible that the solar storm - which will occur when charged particles from the sun interacting with Earth's magnetic field - will cause "weak power grid fluctuations" and may have a "minor impact on satellite operations".

A solar storm is actually expected to impact the Earth from March 14 to March 15, but it certainly isn't massive.

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 initial news on the massive geomagnetic storm appeared on Monday, and soon after fired up Google News.

NOAA says the incoming solar storm is expected to be a G-1 "minor" storm. On the 18th, readings will likely just reach the threshold for a G1-a minor-geomagnetic storm. G1 storms, like the one due on Sunday, occur about 2,000 times every 11 years-or once every two days.

This scale is based in part on an index created from the amount of magnetic deviation a storm might produce on the ground combined with measurements of a variety of currents with fabulous names, including the "auroral electrojets" and the "field-aligned current".

In this handout photo provided by NASA, a Solar and Heliospheric Observatory image shows Region 486 that unleashed a record flare on November 18, 2003. The category rises from G1 to G5 with the increase in the intensity of the geomagnetic storms.

"The sun storms can pose some risks to astronauts, and they can upset the electronics and transmissions on science, military, and communications satellites". When compared to 1859, yet another similarly intense storm was seen in 2012 which disrupted power grids, however, it was not too unsafe since it flyby near Earth with a margin of nine days.

One major solar storm, now called the Carrington Event, struck the planet in 1859 and reportedly knocked out telegraph systems all around the world. The federal government's Ready.gov website offers tips on preparing for a major space weather event. Tips include making sure you get groceries ready and gas in the vehicle, amongst other things.

And if you're going to get space weather predictions from somewhere, get them from a scientific authority-not someone on YouTube-and double-check the legends.

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