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G5 Geomagnetic Storm

Published: 14th May, 2024

Context

The most significant G5 geomagnetic storm since 2003, recently hit the Earth and disrupted GPS, satellite navigation, and other technologies.

About Geomagnetic Storms

  • Geomagnetic storms, like the recent G5 storm, are disturbances in the Earth’s magnetosphere caused by solar wind activity.
  • These storms result from coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from the sun, which carry their own magnetic fields and can disrupt communications, power grids, and satellite operations on Earth and in near-Earth orbit.
  • On a scale from G1 to G5, G5 is the strongest level of geomagnetic storm (as per NOAA).
    • G1 - Minor
    • G2 - Moderate
    • G3 - Strong
    • G4 - Severe
    • G5 - Extreme
  • While a G4 storm can cause widespread power issues, a G5 storm could lead to complete blackouts and power grid collapses.
  • These storms can cause auroras in the sky and disrupt technologies like GPS and satellite navigation.

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