Thursday, September 11, 2014

NASA SDO: Extreme Solar Flare heading to Earth

The Sun by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. 

Credit: NASA

Scientists say an extreme X-Class solar flare is blasting its way to Earth and could mess up some power grids, satellites and radio transmissions.

Forecasters at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center don't yet know when Wednesday's solar storm will arrive here and which part of the planet will be facing the sun and bear the brunt of the effects.

It could be as early as Thursday morning to a few days.

Prediction Center director Tom Berger said scientists will have a better idea after they get more satellite data.

The X-Class flare is considered extreme on forecasters' scale, but just barely. Flares like this cause geomagnetic storms which can knock some power grids offline temporarily.

They also can damage satellites and disrupt radio transmissions but they expand the colourful Aurora Borealis (northern lights).

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