This huge geomagnetic storm caused shocking destruction on Earth.


In 1989, the worst geomagnetic storm in the last 100 years hit Earth and was so powerful that it caused power outages that lasted for 9 hours and a massive radio blackout. Know everything about it.

By:
HT Tech

updated on: 07 October 2023, 20:38 IST


The Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1989: We often think of geomagnetic storms as the phenomenon that sparks the aurora lights. However, if the intensity becomes high then these can have some of the most devastating consequences. An example of this was seen on March 13, 1989, when a severe geomagnetic storm occurred on Earth. While its exact intensity remains uncertain due to the lack of some measurements. However, the Disturbance Storm Time Index (DST Index) recorded a reading of 500. And what happened because of it was unimaginable. (Pixabay)

1/5 The Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1989: We often think of geomagnetic storms as the phenomenon that sparks the aurora lights. However, if the intensity becomes high then these can have some of the most devastating consequences. An example of this was seen on March 13, 1989, when a severe geomagnetic storm occurred on Earth. While its exact intensity remains uncertain due to the lack of some measurements. However, the Disturbance Storm Time Index (DST Index) recorded a reading of 500. And what happened because of it was unimaginable. (Pixabay)

Hydro-Quebec power grid failure: The most significant consequence of this geomagnetic storm was the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power network in Canada. The event resulted in a prolonged power outage, affecting more than 6 million people, that lasted for more than 9 hours. (Pixabay)

2/5 Hydro-Quebec power grid failure: The most significant consequence of this geomagnetic storm was the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power network in Canada. The event resulted in a prolonged power outage, affecting more than 6 million people, that lasted for more than 9 hours. (Pixabay)

Widespread communications blackouts: The geomagnetic storm also caused widespread communications blackouts. Radio networks throughout Europe were jammed, but the most severe impact was on UN peacekeeping forces in Namibia, whose operations were disrupted by radio communications failures. (Pixabay)

3/5 Widespread communications blackouts: The geomagnetic storm also caused widespread communications blackouts. Radio networks throughout Europe were jammed, but the most severe impact was on UN peacekeeping forces in Namibia, whose operations were disrupted by radio communications failures. (Pixabay)

Satellite and spacecraft damage: In particular, satellites suffered significant damage during this geomagnetic storm. NOAA’s GOES weather satellite and NASA’s TDRS-1 communications satellite both experienced disruptions in their operations. Even the space shuttle Discovery, which was in orbit around the Earth, suffered sensor malfunctions. (Pixabay)

4/5 Satellite and spacecraft damage: In particular, satellites suffered significant damage during this geomagnetic storm. NOAA’s GOES weather satellite and NASA’s TDRS-1 communications satellite both experienced disruptions in their operations. Even the space shuttle Discovery, which was in orbit around the Earth, suffered sensor malfunctions. (Pixabay)

2023 Geomagnetic Storm Risks: Geomagnetic storms are challenging to predict, and the Sun frequently releases powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar flares, and more. Given that the Sun is expected to reach the zenith of its solar cycle in 2023, the risk of similar, if not more severe, geomagnetic storms is high. Increased solar activity during the peaks of the solar cycle could lead to more frequent and destructive geomagnetic storms, making it a waiting game for scientists. They have to ensure that they are better prepared for such events in future. (NASA)

5/5 2023 Geomagnetic Storm Risks: Geomagnetic storms are challenging to predict, and the Sun frequently releases powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar flares, and more. Given that the Sun is expected to reach the zenith of its solar cycle in 2023, the risk of similar, if not more severe, geomagnetic storms is high. Increased solar activity during the peaks of the solar cycle could lead to more frequent and destructive geomagnetic storms, making it a waiting game for scientists. They have to ensure that they are better prepared for such events in future. (NASA)

First publication date: 07 October, 20:37 IST


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