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Posts Tagged ‘AURORAS’

Modern Society Threatened by Solar Storms

February 20, 2011 Comments off
Tuesday’s dramatic X-class solar flare triggered an Earth-bound CME, but the resulting solar storm wasn’t as powerful as expected.
NASA/SDO/AIA

 

The Earth just dodged a solar bullet. But it won’t be the last. Experts say a geomagnetic storm, sparked by a massive solar eruption similar to the one that flared toward the Earth on Tuesday, is bound to strike again, and the next one could wreak more havoc than the world has ever seen.

Modern society is increasingly vulnerable to space weather because of our dependence on satellite systems for synchronizing computers, navigational systems, telecommunications networks and other electronic devices.

A potent solar storm could disrupt these technologies, scorch satellites, crash stock markets and cause months-long power outages, experts said Saturday at the Read more…

FIRST X-CLASS FLARE OF THE NEW SOLAR CYCLE:

February 16, 2011 Comments off

Sunspot 1158 has unleashed the strongest solar flare in more than four years. The eruption, which peaked at 0156 UT on Feb. 15th, registered X2 on the Richter scale of solar flares. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded an intense flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, circled below:


movie formats: 5 MB gif, 1.3 MB iPad, 0.6 MB iPhone

X-flares are the strongest type of solar flare, and this is the first such eruption of new Solar Cycle 24. In addition to flashing Earth with UV radiation, the explosion also hurled a coronal mass ejection (CME) in our direction. The expanding cloud may be seen in this movie from NASA’s STEREO-B spacecraft. Geomagnetic storms are possible when Read more…