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Geomagnetic storm reached G2 levels, amazing auroras photographed from ISS

geomagnetic-storm-reached-g2-levels-amazing-auroras-photographed-from-iss

A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) unleashed by solar filament eruption on August 15 started interacting with Earth's magnetic field around 07:00 UTC on August 19 causing, at first, only a minor instability.

As the Earth passed through the plasma cloud the effects increased and reached G2 – Moderate level threshold (Kp=6) at 23:01 UTC.

At these levels area of impact is primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude. Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms. Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible. HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes. Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

Geomagnetic K-index of 6 threshold (G2 – Moderate storm) was reached at 23:01 UTC on August 19, 2014.

Astronaut Reid Wiseman, onboard International Space Station, captured the following images from his window:

Alerts issued by SWPC:

Space Weather Message Code: SUMSUD
Serial Number: 196
Issue Time: 2014 Aug 19 0713 UTC

SUMMARY: Geomagnetic Sudden Impulse
Observed: 2014 Aug 19 0700 UTC
Deviation: 12 nT
Station: BOU

***

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK04
Serial Number: 1720
Issue Time: 2014 Aug 19 2056 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 4
Threshold Reached: 2014 Aug 19 2051 UTC
Synoptic Period: 1800-2100 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 65 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Aurora – Aurora may be visible at high latitudes such as Canada and Alaska.

***

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK05
Serial Number: 748
Issue Time: 2014 Aug 19 2141 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 5
Threshold Reached: 2014 Aug 19 2136 UTC
Synoptic Period: 2100-2400 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G1 – Minor
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 60 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Weak power grid fluctuations can occur.
Spacecraft – Minor impact on satellite operations possible.
Aurora – Aurora may be visible at high latitudes, i.e., northern tier of the U.S. such as northern Michigan and Maine.

***

Space Weather Message Code: ALTK06
Serial Number: 324
Issue Time: 2014 Aug 19 2306 UTC

ALERT: Geomagnetic K-index of 6
Threshold Reached: 2014 Aug 19 2301 UTC
Synoptic Period: 2100-2400 UTC
Active Warning: Yes
NOAA Scale: G2 – Moderate
Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents – Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft – Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio – HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

***

The following video shows the filament eruption on August 15, the source of latest geomagnetic storms on Earth:

Solar filament eruption on August 15, 2014. Images by NASA SDO AIA 193 and 304

Featured image: Aurora visible from ISS – August 19/20, 2014. Image credit: Reid Weisman

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