“Alert: Earth struck by massive and unexpected ‘G4’ geomagnetic storm – assess its impact.”

The Earth has been struck hard by an extremely potent geomagnetic storm, the most powerful in almost six years. The massive solar storm, which had an unexpected magnitude of G4, exceeded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) prediction in its alert.

Earlier, the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) of NOAA had predicted moderate G2, G3 geomagnetic storm conditions for the end of the week (March 23-25). However, the actual storm that occurred was much more intense than anticipated, taking space weather experts by surprise. As a result, the NOAA updated its warning to indicate the G4 geomagnetic storm.

According to a warning from the NOAA, the response to the geomagnetic storm increased, and the G4 levels initially arrived on Earth at 12:04 pm EDT on March 24th.

The effects of the CME persisted, and the response to the geomagnetic storm intensified to a severe G4 level at 12:04 am EDT on March 24th (24/0404 UTC). The warning also stated that the G3 Warning would continue until 5:00 am EDT (24/0900 UTC).

A “stealth” CME, which is a large expulsion of solar material from the Sun’s upper atmosphere or corona, resulted in the G4 storm.

The CME was emitted from a coronal hole that measured over 20 Earths in width and expelled solar winds at speeds exceeding 2.1 million km/h. This intense geomagnetic storm, the strongest in six years, caused auroras across the United States, reaching as far south as New Mexico.

Rocket Lab, a spaceflight company, was compelled to postpone its launch by 90 minutes. Scientists anticipate similar and even more extreme events in 2025 when the sun reaches the pinnacle of its 11-year solar activity cycle.

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