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'Extreme' solar storm heading straight for us


Posted on Thursday, 11 September, 2014 | Comment icon 58 comments

A solar storm is headed in our direction. Image Credit: NASA/Steele Hill
A particularly intense solar storm could cause communications and power grid disruptions this week.
While solar storms hit us on a regular basis, this one, which has been classed as "extreme" by forecasters, has the potential to be particularly disruptive. It was produced by a large magnetic explosion originating from a volatile region of sunspot activity that just happened to be pointing directly at us at the time.

The resulting storm is traveling towards us at a speed of around 2.5 million mph and could arrive as early as this evening but is more likely to hit some time tomorrow.
Despite all the predictions of doom and gloom however astronomers have been keen to emphasise that the effects will probably be minimal and that it will pose no harm to humans.

One of the more positive effects of the storm in fact may be a particularly impressive view of the northern lights which may be visible much further south than they can normally be seen from.

"We're not scared of this one," said space weather prediction expert Tom Berger.

Source: CBS News | Comments (58)

Tags: Solar Storm, Sun

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #49 Posted by Admiral Rhubarb on 13 September, 2014, 18:27
So did anything happen?
Comment icon #50 Posted by Hawkin on 13 September, 2014, 19:22
Weird, I pulled in my driveway and the GPS lost it's signal. Never had that happen. Might be a coincidence. The news did say that it might affect GPS.
Comment icon #51 Posted by Admiral Rhubarb on 13 September, 2014, 19:27
well, the GPS thingumijg on my phone worked all right. It even told me there may be delays at the junction of the A35 and A3052, without me even asking it to.
Comment icon #52 Posted by FizzPuff on 14 September, 2014, 2:44
Maybe that's why deviantarts server is acting up? They're being affected by this in some way.Everything else is working fine otherwise, just that one site.
Comment icon #53 Posted by qxcontinuum on 14 September, 2014, 13:39
So did anything happen? Nah, these solar storms have always been this big! It is not just the magnetic field protecting us as they say, it is the ozone layer as well, the clouds when is the case.
Comment icon #54 Posted by ninjadude on 14 September, 2014, 18:21
So did anything happen? The aurora borealis looked pretty cool I'm sure. But none of your gloom and doom.
Comment icon #55 Posted by Frank Merton on 14 September, 2014, 18:29
I tried to see it (was wheeled out to the roof of the residence hotel I'm for a short time stuck in here in Washington State) but saw nothing. For a person living in the tropics the prospect was excited and I'm disappointed. I think although this was big, it was not real big -- not so big as to threaten power stations and the like. I was not aware of any connection between climate change and ozone levels and the damage one of these solar storms could cause. More detail and some evidence is needed. I had thought it had to do with Earth's magnetic field, something over which humanity does not se... [More]
Comment icon #56 Posted by Capt. on 15 September, 2014, 20:00
IF there was any disruption caused by the solar flares it was overshadowed by morning fog delaying most local flights here. We do not get TV so I just heard about this Walking Dead -like SHTF series, Carrington Event: http://4dtraveler.ne...vent-tv-series/ So who all here can build a crystal radio or "foxhole radio?"
Comment icon #57 Posted by thornd on 17 September, 2014, 16:22
Maybe a bit off topic here but didnt really know where else to post this... For years I've been very interested in everything to do with space, cosmology and the universe in general (mainly the physics behind it). I already know a lot about these subjects trough various youtube channels (Scishow, Minutephysics, Veritasium, Vsauce, ...), i've read Hawking's 'The universe', I follow several blogs from NASA and so on.. I have deep appreciation for these media, they do an awesome job, but lately I found myself often hitting information I already know and I'm looking for new sources to extend my kn... [More]
Comment icon #58 Posted by Capt. on 17 September, 2014, 21:06
Maybe a bit off topic here but didnt really know where else to post this... For years I've been very interested in everything to do with space, cosmology and the universe in general (mainly the physics behind it). I already know a lot about these subjects trough various youtube channels (Scishow, Minutephysics, Veritasium, Vsauce, ...), i've read Hawking's 'The universe', I follow several blogs from NASA and so on.. I have deep appreciation for these media, they do an awesome job, but lately I found myself often hitting information I already know and I'm looking for new sources to extend my kn... [More]


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