On August 28th, for only the 2nd time in 2020, Earth experienced a geomagnetic storm.
The minor G1-class disturbance broke out when a stream of solar wind hit Earth’s magnetic field at 500 km/s.
“I got to see my first Northern Lights for this season,” reports Göran Strand, who sends this picture from Östersund, Sweden:
“After a long summer, it felt really great to be back under a dark starry night sky with bright auroras dancing overhead,” he says. “Aurora season has begun!“
During a geomagnetic storm, Earth’s magnetic field vibrates. Stuart Green detected the rumbles in Preston, Lancashire, UK:
“After weeks of relative calm it was exciting to see some geomagnetic activity on my magnetometer here in the UK. It was only a minor G1 storm, but very welcome during Solar Minimum,” he says.
In the graph above, he biggest excursions correspond to aurora outbursts in the Arctic:
During Solar Maximum, Earth experiences 50 to 100 such storms a year. This year we have experienced only 2.
The first geomagnetic storm of 2020, also category G1, happened on April 20th when a CME hit Earth’s magnetic field.