Geomagnetic storms, communication interruption, high-energy radiation, satellite interference, electrical grid power surges, GPS and airline disruption…Nope, not a new disaster flick…
Just a show of power from our life-sustaining heavenly neighbor — otherwise know as the Sun.
A solar flare has prompted a warning from NASA. Particles from the flare are expected to reach Earth before Friday, August 23. NASA reports that the latest flare occurred on Tuesday morning, August 20, at 4:24 EDT. They have stated that the “powerful storm” is blasting toward the Earth at speeds of 3 million mph.
4 points about solar flares you should know:
- A solar flare is an eruption of high-energy radiation from the surface of the sun. When the flares erupt toward Earth, the magnetic energy can cause geomagnetic storms. The storms can interrupt communication and electricity.
- Computer World reports that the particles do not cause direct harm to people. However, the storms can interfere with satellites and cause power surges in electrical grids. In 2012, a geomagnetic storm interfered with satellites, interrupting GPS and airline communication for several days. They explain that “in the past, geomagnetic storms caused by CMEs of this strength have usually been mild.” Mild geomagnetic storms may not cause communication disruptions
- NASA officials explain that such solar masses as the one emitted Tuesday can increase the northern and southern lights. The aurora are often more intense in the days following a solar flare. Aurora watchers are encouraged to look for the lights beginning tonight. Those in higher latitudes may see low-level displays if they skies are clear.
- The Geophysical Institute provides an informative website, which documents aurora activity.
source: the inquisitor.com