The Azerbaijan State News Agency

WORLD

"Extreme" G5 geomagnetic storm reaches Earth, NOAA says, following "unusual" solar event

Baku, May 11, AZERTAC

An "extreme" G5 geomagnetic storm reached Earth on Friday, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center said, after issuing a watch earlier in the day warning of the potential for a severe impact, according to CBS News.

The watch followed days of solar activity that sent several explosions of plasma and magnetic fields toward Earth.

G5 is the strongest level of geomagnetic storm, on a scale from G1 to G5.

"Widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems can occur," NOAA warns. "Some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may experience damage."

Radio transmissions and satellite navigation may also be disrupted.

The last G5 geomagnetic storm, in October 2003, caused power outages in Sweden and damaged transformers in South Africa.

A geomagnetic storm also means aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights, could be seen as far south as Alabama and in Northern California.

An "extreme" G5 geomagnetic storm reached Earth on Friday, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center said, after issuing a watch earlier in the day warning of the potential for a severe impact.

The watch followed days of solar activity that sent several explosions of plasma and magnetic fields toward Earth.

G5 is the strongest level of geomagnetic storm, on a scale from G1 to G5.

"Widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems can occur," NOAA warns. "Some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may experience damage."

Radio transmissions and satellite navigation may also be disrupted.

The last G5 geomagnetic storm, in October 2003, caused power outages in Sweden and damaged transformers in South Africa.

A geomagnetic storm also means aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights, could be seen as far south as Alabama and in Northern California.

Earlier, NOAA had issued its first watch for a potential G4-level geomagnetic storm in almost 20 years. "If geomagnetic storms were hurricanes, 'severe' would be category 4," SpaceWeather.com says.

In a press release on Thursday, NOAA said the most recent series of solar events started on May 8, when a large cluster of sunspots produced "several moderate to strong solar flares." Solar flares are bursts of radiation known to be the solar system's largest explosive events, according to NASA. The area where the flares are occurring is 16 times the diameter of Earth, the NOAA said, and more solar activity is expected.

That sunspot is so big you may be able to see it with your own eyes — with your solar eclipse glasses. The spot is known as AR3664, and it was responsible for most of the geomagnetic activity Friday, the NOAA reported. According to Space.com, it measures about 124,000 miles across and is one of the "largest and most active sunspots seen this solar cycle."

The NOAA reported that a strong solar flare was observed peaking from AR3664 at 9:23 p.m. Eastern Time Friday.

There has also been a series of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), which are explosions of plasma and magnetic fields that come out of the sun's corona, the outermost part of the sun's atmosphere. At least five CMEs appear directed toward Earth and could arrive as early as midday on Friday and persist through Sunday, the agency said.

"This is an unusual event," NOAA said.

In a call with reporters on Friday, Shawn Dahl, service coordinator at the Space Weather Prediction Center, said that some CMEs "are catching up with other ones." He said officials are expecting a "big shock arrival" when they hit Earth. Dahl said at the time that while officials weren't predicting a G5 storm — the strongest of geomagnetic storms — they couldn't discount a "low-end G5 event."

"We're really buckling down here," Brent Gordon, chief of the space weather services branch, also said on the call.

G4 conditions were detected by Friday afternoon, marking a "major disturbance in Earth's magnetic field," NOAA said, adding that "the public should stay properly informed of storm progression."

In a forecast discussion at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center said that solar activity is expected to continue at "high to very high levels" through the weekend, with additional solar flares expected, including X-class flares, the most powerful class of solar flares.

As of Friday afternoon, NOAA said it had observed a moderate solar radiation storm that could expose people in high-flying aircraft to "elevated radiation risk" and cause infrequent issues with satellite operations.

Radio blackouts have also been detected with an R3 designation, meaning that the blackouts were "strong" on a scale from R1 (minor) to R5 (extreme). At this level, wide blackouts of HF radio communication is expected, as well as loss of radio contact, for about an hour on the sunlit side of Earth, as low-frequency navigation signals decline for roughly an hour.

"Geomagnetic storms can impact infrastructure in near-Earth orbit and on Earth's surface, potentially disrupting communications, the electric power grid, navigation, radio and satellite operations," NOAA said. "[The Space Weather Prediction Center] has notified the operators of these systems so they can take protective action."

Dahl agreed Friday that the event is "pretty extraordinary" and said that it could impact infrastructure, including high-voltage transmission lines of the power grid. Dahl said that infrastructure operators have been notified to adequately prepare.

This is the first time a storm watch has been issued for a G4 since January 2005. There is an average of 100 severe geomagnetic storms every solar cycle, but so far, there have only been three observed in the most recent cycle that began in December 2019. The most recent occurred on March 23.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

Man United stun Man City to win FA Cup final

The Hobbit first edition fetches more than £31k

Three Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers into European Championships final in Baku

Italy resumes UNRWA funding in Palestinian aid package

President Ilham Aliyev issues order to pardon group of convicts

Azerbaijan, Egypt discuss prospects for relations

Azerbaijan’s female para athlete crowned four-time World champion

Student of Baku Higher Oil School participates in prestigious world forums

To His Excellency Mr. To Lam, President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Azerbaijan’s Gabala to host FIBA 3x3 Women's Series 2024

Drinking coffee may help protect against Parkinson’s, study says

® NewBeginning in Karabakh: Kapital Bank’s branch in Khankendi opened

Baku Higher Oil School and University of Bucharest sign MoU

US Defense Secretary Austin expected to meet with Chinese counterpart in Singapore

Azerbaijan's Para athletes shine in Kobe 2024 with four golds

Mexico's 'heat dome' has already killed dozens of people as hotter days loom

“Made in Azerbaijan” brand on display for first time at Saudi Food Show 2024

Rescuers search rubble after over 300 buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

NE Global: COP29 in Azerbaijan to focus on peace, climate finance, green issues

Azerbaijani Premier meets with Italian Attorney General

From Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China

Escalating clashes kill 85 in western Sudan: UN

Delegation from Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry visits Kazakhstan

President Ilham Aliyev received credentials of incoming Italian ambassador to Azerbaijan VIDEO

Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev attended meeting of CIS Council of Heads of Government in Ashgabad

From Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States of America

From Sadyr Zhaparov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic

From Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, National Leader of the Turkmen People, Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan

From Serdar Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan

From Gary Jones, bp Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Türkiye

Balkan nations hail UN decision to designate day to remember Srebrenica

President Ilham Aliyev received credentials of incoming Ukrainian ambassador to Azerbaijan VIDEO

From Salim bin Mohammed Al Malik, Director-General of the ICESCO

Leyla Aliyeva attends Berlin event dealing with bison reintroduction

From Humam Hammoudi, Head of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council

From Hissein Brahim Taha, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation

From Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea

From Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine

From Zoran Milanović, President of the Republic of Croatia

From Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

From Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry: Engineering units hold combat training classes

Former Hubei vice governor gets life sentence for graft, inside information violation

From Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

From Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic

From Petr Pavel, President of the Czech Republic

From Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands

From Philippe, King of the Belgians

From Felipe VI, King of Spain

From Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria

From Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

From Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King of Saudi Arabia

From Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation

From Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Türkiye

From His Majesty Charles III, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

To His Majesty Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan

Azerbaijan transfers 32 more families to Shusha VIDEO

Türkiye announce provisional squad for EURO 2024

® "The Safe Internet" project has implemented in Nakhchivan

Azerbaijani, German FMs hold phone talk

US delegation visits Azerbaijan’s Lachin and Shusha cities

Mukhtar Babayev: We hope that all countries will show understanding and solidarity regarding COP29

Azerbaijani, German military representatives hold expert meeting

Azerbaijan, Moldova sign agreement on cooperation

World should create together ‘more balanced, fairer, inclusive system’: Turkish president

Chris Hemsworth gets Hollywood walk of fame star

Garcia blames 'contamination' after B-samples positive

Azerbaijani wrestler crowned European champion in Baku

Azerbaijan’s Mammadova clinches wrestling silver in U23 European Championships in Baku

Azerbaijani FM meets with GNAT Committee chair

6 killed by falling tree branches during inclement weather in Sri Lanka

Azerbaijani, Turkish antimonopoly authorities discuss cooperation

Japan to sanction Russian groups over North Korean arms procurement

Barcelona part ways with Xavi Hernandez, Hansi Flick in frame to replace him

Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers ready for action in Georgian tournament

Defense Ministry: Sessions held with psychologists and officers on ideological work and moral-psychological support

Knife attack in China kills 8, injures 1

China’s latest answer to OpenAI is ‘Chat Xi PT’

Creating fakes with artificial intelligence has become easier - news agency representatives discuss in Lisbon

Members of diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan complete their visit to Lachin

Azerbaijan’s national flag raised in four villages of Gazakh district VIDEO

ADB approves 500 mln USD loan to Indonesia

Cabinet of Ministers holds meeting on State Program for socio-economic development of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

Wreckage of US World War Two submarine found after 80 years

A fire in an apartment building in Hanoi, Vietnam, kills 14 people and injures 6

Pacers trying to regroup after star Tyrese Haliburton leaves Game 2 with hamstring, chest injuries

More than 100 feared dead in massive landslide in Papua New Guinea

Azerbaijan and Russia explore prospects for tourism cooperation

Delegation from Black Sea Universities Network visits Baku Higher Oil School

"Lines of the Invisible" exhibition launches at Heydar Aliyev Center

Representatives of Moroccan travel agencies visit Azerbaijan

Members of diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan begin visit to Lachin city

Hikmet Hajiyev: If we succeed as the host of COP29, it will be beneficial for the entire world

Military Police Department personnel hold combat training classes VIDEO

Press release of Office of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev

® Inauguration ceremony of the "Kapital Bank Room" at Baku Engineering University

11 killed in sugar factory explosion in Tanzania

Oil prices fall in global markets

Baku Airport offers passengers about 80 destinations in the summer season

Nokia and Baktelecom deploy commercial XGS-PON services in Azerbaijan