Solar flare: Biggest in six years hits the Earth (+video)


A strong geomagnetic storm is racing from the Sun toward Earth, and its arrival on Thursday could affect power grids, airplane routes and space-based satellite navigation systems, U.S. space weather experts said.

The storm, a big cloud of charged particles flung from the Sun at about 4.5 million miles per hour (7.2 million km per hour), was spawned by a pair of solar flares, scientists said.

This is probably the strongest such event in nearly six years, and is likely more intense than a similar storm in late January, said Joseph Kunches, a space weather specialist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (external - login to view) (NOAA).
IN PICTURES: Solar flares and Northern Lights (external - login to view)

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Such stormy space weather is unusual in recent history, according to Harlan Spence, an astrophysicist at the University of New Hampshire (external - login to view) who is principal investigator on the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) aboard NASA (external - login to view)'s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (external - login to view).

"These relatively large (solar) events, which we've had maybe a couple of handfuls total in the course of a decade, we've now
Quite dangerous things. Well, for electronics anyway. For most of history they weren't really a big deal. Imagine one wiping our a power grid and the chaos that would cause today.
no power = no radio, tv, internet, etc.

the beginning of the end.
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

no power = no radio, tv, internet, etc.

the beginning of the end.

For me... yes.

I'll go crazy bat sh!t as Michele Bachmann within 72 hrs.
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