Earth is about to have a strong solar flare approaching 2.5 million miles per hour approaching its atmosphere.
An X-Class solar flare, which is the most dangerous kind, erupted from the sun and headed toward Earth Wednesday. The storm could be capable of affecting power grids, satellites, or radio transmissions on Earth; but it is unclear if that will happen.
It has been several years since Earth has had a solar storm of this size coming from sunspots smack in the middle of the sun, according to Tom Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado. “There’s been a giant magnetic explosion on the sun.” Berger told The Associated Press.
“Because it’s pointed right at us, we’ll at least catch some of the cloud” of highly energized and magnetized plasma that can disrupt Earths magnetic sphere, which sometimes leads to temporary power grid problems.
Major disruptions are not expected, Bill Murtagh, space weather forecaster for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), cautioned:
“We may…see some anomalies with satellites so satellite operators around the world have been notified. And problems with the accuracy of GPS have been observed with this level of storming.”
Murtagh also said that the solar flare should reach G2 (moderate) and G3 (strong) range, which “can cause some problems for the [power] grid but are typically very manageable.”
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The good news is that the worst of its power will barely skim above the planet and not cause many problems. One positive side effect of this phenomenon is that northern lights are expanded, so people who live further away are able to see them.
H/T ABC News