Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (2024)

Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (1)

03:06

Millions around the world treated to intense Northern Lights displays

People around the world were given the opportunity to witness a dazzling display of the Northern Lights after the Earth was impacted by a historic geomagnetic storm starting Friday.

A historic geomagnetic storm that blasted Earth and gave millions of people the opportunity to witness a dazzling display of the Northern Lights as far south as Florida and Texas in the southern U.S. has finally started to wane.

The sky around the world was filled with brilliant colors of green, pink, purple and red from the Northern Lights on Friday and Saturday after a massive sunspot the width of 17 Earths spewed solar flares, leading to the geomagnetic storm activity reaching Level 5 "extreme" conditions.

MESMERIZING TIME-LAPSE VIDEOS SHOW NORTHERN LIGHTS DAZZLING SKYGAZERS AROUND THE WORLD

  • Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (2)

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    BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 12: The aurora borealis glows in the night sky over the Badaling section of the Great Wall on May 12, 2024 in Beijing, China. Due to the current geomagnetic storm, aurora borealis were observed across China on the night of May 11 and on the early morning of May 12. (Photo by Yang Dong/VCG via Getty Images) ()

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    BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 12: The aurora borealis glows in the night sky over the Badaling section of the Great Wall on May 12, 2024 in Beijing, China. Due to the current geomagnetic storm, aurora borealis were observed across China on the night of May 11 and on the early morning of May 12. (Photo by Yang Dong/VCG via Getty Images) ()

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    CALIFORNIA, USA - MAY 11: Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) illuminate the sky of San Francisco North Bay as seen from China Camp Beach in San Rafael, California, United States on May 11, 2024. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images) ()

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    MERCER, MAINE - MAY 11, 2024 The northern lights fill the sky with green ribbons of electrical charged particles over the barn and pastures at Greaney's Turkey Farm in Mercer, Maine on May 11, 2024. The aurora borealis, commonly referred to as the northern lights, are electrically charged particles that are interacting with gases in outer space. This recent display was the strongest seen since 2003 rating a G5 on the geomagnetic scale. (Photo by Michael Seamans/Getty Images) ()

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    This incredible image shows the sky filled with colors of pink, red, purple and green as the Northern Lights danced above a church in Ireland on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (@sryanbruenphoto / X)

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    Northern Lights from Mukilteo, Washington during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (Scott Sistek)

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    Northern Lights from Mukilteo, Washington during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (Scott Sistek)

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    Northern Lights from Reno, Nevada during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Reno)

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    Northern Lights from Riverton, Wyoming, during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Riverton)

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    Northern Lights from Hastings, Nebraska during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Hastings)

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    Northern Lights from Seattle during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Seattle)

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    Northern Lights from Great Falls, Montana during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. ()

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    Northern Lights from Missoula, Montana during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Missoula)

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    Northern Lights from Shreveport, Louisiana during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Shreveport)

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    Northern Lights from Great Falls, Montana during an extreme geomagnetic storm on May 10, 2024. (NWS Great Falls, Montana)

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    Top Image Northern Lights ()

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    The Northern Lights were seen in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Friday night, May 10, 2024. (Luke Culver)

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    Clear skies led the Northern Lights to be visible in Texas and New Mexico (@NWSElPaso)

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    FOX Weather Storm Tracker Mark Sudduth caught a stunning view of the aurora over South Carolina while in a plane. (Mark Sudduth)

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    View from Concord, N.C. (Jay Caceres)

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    Outside of the NWS office in Caribou, Maine. ()

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    Forecasters at the NWS office in Calera, AL saw the aurora and the space station. (@NWSBirmingham)

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    10 May 2024, Baden-Württemberg, Freiburg: Northern lights appear over the Dreisamtal valley in the Black Forest near Freiburg. (Photo by Valentin Gensch/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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    10 May 2024, Brandenburg, Sieversdorf: Light green and violet-reddish auroras glow in the night sky in the Oder-Spree district of East Brandenburg. The northern lights (aurora borealis) are produced by a cloud of electrically charged particles from a solar storm in the earth's atmosphere. (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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    The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, glow on the horizon over Basingstoke in Hampshire. Picture date: Friday May 10, 2024. (Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

As the weekend continued, conditions dropped to Level 3 and Level 4 but reenergized and returned to Level 5 conditions on Saturday, prompting NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) to issue a Geomagnetic Storm Watch and eventually a Geomagnetic Storm Warning.

That warning expired early Monday morning as the effects of the geomagnetic storm started to pass and Level 4 "severe" conditions were no longer expected.

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Geomagnetic storm causes issues to power grid, Starlink service

Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (27)

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Watch: Time-lapse video gives thrilling look at vibrant Northern Lights above Ireland church

Incredible time-lapse video recorded in Ireland shows the vibrant colors from the Northern Lights moving across the night sky above Ballynafa*gh Church in Kildare.

While the Northern Lights were no doubt breathtaking to see, the geomagnetic storm did cause some issues.

The SWPC reported that there were reports of power grid irregularities and degradations to high-frequency communications and GPS.

The storm has also been a nightmare for farmers who rely on GPS for their work.

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John Deere customers were warned that its GPS network was "extremely compromised" due to the geomagnetic storm.

"Please be advised that there is significant solar flare and space weather activity currently affecting GPS and RTK networks," LandMark Implement said on X, formerly Twitter.

The company said the network was sending out corrections affected by the geomagnetic storm and "were causing drastic shifts in the field and even some heading changes that were drastic."

That means there could be issues when it comes time to harvest crops.

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Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (28)

01:15

Watch: Dazzling Northern Lights dance across Seattle skyline in stunning time lapse video

A stunning time lapse video shows the Northern Lights dancing about the Seattle skyline on Friday, May 10, 2024.

"When you head back into these fields to side dress, spray, cultivate, harvest, etc. over the next several months, we expect that the rows won't be where the AutoPath lines think they are,"the company said. "This will only affect the fields that are planted duringtimes of reduced accuracy."

In addition, SpaceX’s Starlink service warned on its website Saturday morning that it had experienced "degraded service," though other details weren’t provided.

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SpaceX head Elon Musk said on X, formerly Twitter, that the Starlink satellites were "under a lot of pressure, but holding up so far."

And SWPC officials said those who manage vulnerable equipment were briefed on the heightened solar activity.

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Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (29)

00:27

Watch: United Kingdom treated to amazing Northern Lights display

Beautiful time-lapse video from the United Kingdom shows the Northern Lights in Berkshire on Friday, May 10, 2024.

SWPC Coordinator Shawn Sahl said Friday that operators they coordinate with, like satellite and power grid operators, were notified of the magnitude of the geomagnetic storm so that they could take mitigation efforts throughout the event.

This weekend's Level 5 geomagnetic storm was the first to hit Earth since October 2003. That storm knocked out power in Sweden and damaged electrical transformers in South Africa.

Historic geomagnetic storm that led to spectacular Northern Lights displays around the world starts to wane (2024)
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