Relax! NO massive Geomagnetic storm is hitting Earth on March 18
New Delhi : Contrary to what several media reports are claiming, no 'Massive Magnetic Storm' is going to hit Earth on March 18, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA help people build forecasts for weather here on Earth, they also predict space weather events like geomagnetic storms.
"This story is not plausible in any way, shape or form," Bob Rutledge, who leads NOAA's Space Weather Forecast Center, told Newsweek via e-mail. "Things are all quiet for space weather, and the sun is essentially spotless."
Media reports claiming magnetic storm on Earth were mostly based upon the misinterpretation of a chart posted on Russia’s Lebedev Institute’s website showing a minor uptick in geomagnetic activity on the 18th. That elevated activity is expected to be a minor storm at most.
Geomagnetic storms are rated on a scale of G1 to G5, with G5 being the most extreme. On the 18th, readings will likely just reach the threshold for a G1 a minor geomagnetic storm. G1 storms happen frequently, about 2,000 times every 11 years, or once every two days.
The geometric scale is based on an index that measures magnetic deviation caused due to storm and variety of currents like "auroral electrojets" and the "field-aligned current." The measurement of another type of current is called the "disturbance storm time index," according to NOAA's website.
Massive geomagnetic storm is something that no one will take so lightly as it can cause blackouts and damage communications satellites.
According to the federal government’s Ready.gov website, one geomagnetic storm in 1859 shocked telegraph operators and set the paper they were working with on fire, while another in 1989 caused a nine-hour blackout in Canada.
Even this does not make you sure enough that no massive magnetic storm is hitting Earth, here are some tips mentioned on the government's website as measures to keep you safe.
Preparing for a major space weather event is a lot like preparing for other kinds of natural disasters. Be sure to have fresh water on hand, gas in your cars tank and copies of any important documents or information you might need.