A geomagnetic storm of moderate scale was supposed to hit Earth on September 27, as per the US space weather tracking agency. It was feared that the space weather phenomenon may affect electricity grids, satellite operations and some other high latitude systems.
The Geomagnetic Storm Watch for Monday, September 27, was issued by the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The SWPC predicted a moderate G2-level geomagnetic storm.
It should be noted that a geomagnetic storm is different from a solar storm, resulting from the solar wind.
While there were fears of disruption, no issues with power grids due to the geomagnetic storm have been reported till now from anywhere around the world. However, a Twitter user did question if the geomagnetic storm had revealed serious weakness in the power grid of Thurston County, which is located in the US state of Washington.
Nevertheless, people living up till New York are expecting to see auroras in the night sky. None have been captured or reported as yet.
Meanwhile, the SWPC has also issued a fresh alert of a Type II Radio Emission that began at 11:50 am IST (0620 UTC). This could be associated with a solar flare event. As per the agency, “Type II emissions occur in association with eruptions on the sun and typically indicate a coronal mass ejection is associated with a flare event.” It estimated the velocity of the emission at 534 km/s.
A geomagnetic storm is caused when the Earth’s magnetosphere is disturbed when there is interaction between the space environment surrounding the planet and solar wind. The largest storms resulting from such conditions are linked to solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), as per SWPC.
G2 or moderate level geomagnetic storms do not cause significant damage or disruption. As per SPWC, such storms can impact high-latitude power systems to cause voltage alarms. If the storm continues for a long time, it may result in damage to some transformers.
Satellites and spacecrafts can require corrections from ground control, as orbit predictions can be affected. Other systems like high-frequency (HF) radio propagation at higher latitudes can fade. DNA