Tag Archives: solar flare

Solar storms could cause disruptions Saturday

Solar flaresBy Lynn R. Mitchell

Earth may feel the aftershock of two solar storms on Saturday, according to CNN Tech (see Big solar storm hitting Earth by Amanda Barnett):

Experts say the combined energy from two recent solar events has arrived, prompting the Space Weather Prediction Center to issue a strong geomagnetic storm watch for Saturday.

Wait. What’s a solar storm? Basically, the sun is a giant ball of gas: 92.1% hydrogen and 7.8% helium. Every now and then, it spits out a giant burst of radiation called a coronal mass ejection.

These ejections are sometimes associated with solar flares, the most explosive events in the solar system. The sun has released two ejections in the past few days, and both are linked to solar flares. NASA says the second flare is an X1.6 class, putting it in the most intense category.

The energy from those two ejections is now hitting Earth. Space weather experts aren’t sure what this solar storm will do.

Besides knocking out power, solar storms can interfere with GPS, affect radio communications, and damage satellites. But not to worry … scientists say humans are safe. Since there’s no assurance of what will happen, hope for the best.

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