Don't Fret Over Sunday's Magnetic Storm

Massive magnetic storm to hit EARTH on March 18; here is how it can affect you (Watch Video)

These storms could turn out to be extremely risky because they can disrupt telecommunications, navigation, and electrical power around the Earth.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is an organization that predicts weather on Earth and space.

After several media outlets wrote about a massive geomagnetic storm that could hit Earth on March 18, it spread across the internet like wildfire.

"This story is not plausible in any way, shape, or form", Bob Rutledge, head of NOAA's Space Weather Forecast Center, told Newsweek.

The initial news on the massive geomagnetic storm appeared on Monday, and soon after fired up Google News.

NOAA officials also reported that all that has started from a misreading of the geomagnetic storms charts released online by the Russian Lebedev Institute.

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The largest recorded geomagnetic storm, referred to as the Carrington Event, struck in September 1859.

The storm, known as a "G1" geomagnetic storm, is actually the most minor of these types of solar storms, and it likely won't create any of the serious issues mentioned in many news articles published over the course of the past couple days.

This scale is based in part on an index created from the amount of magnetic deviation a storm might produce on the ground combined with measurements of a variety of currents with fabulous names, including the "auroral electrojets" and the "field-aligned current".

Depending on the strength of the solar storms, power grids on Earth can be interrupted and radio blackouts can occur.

"Closer to Earth's surface, solar activity can cause disruptions of radio signals (particularly HF), provide a small dose of radiation to passengers on high-latitude flights, and provoke auroras (northern and southern lights)". Preparing for a major space weather event is a lot like preparing for other kinds of natural disasters. A similar geomagnetic storm happened in 1989 which caused a 9-hour blackout in Canada. So there's really nothing to worry about. Be sure to have fresh water on hand, gas in your car's tank and copies of any important documents or information you might need. But, last and foremost, make sure to check info from websites that have scientific authority, rather than unauthorized content from YouTube.

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