Most Powerful Solar Storm In 5 Years Arrives Wednesday

Just when I thought it was safe to go to bed after a late night screening of Doomsday Bunkers, I came across this from Denise Chow on SPACE.com Wednesday afternoon:

A massive solar flare that erupted from the sun late Tuesday (March 6) is unleashing one of the most powerful solar storms in more than five years, a solar tempest that may potentially interfere with satellites in orbit and power grids when it reaches Earth

The CME [coronal mass ejection] is not expected to hit Earth directly, but the cloud of charged particles could deliver a glancing blow to the planet.

Early predictions estimate that the CME will reach Earth tomorrow (March 8, 2012) at 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT), with the effects likely lasting for 24 hours, and possibly lingering into Friday, [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration space weather scientist Joseph] Kunches said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

What could be impacted by this solar superstorm?

• Satellites- Some high-precision GPS users could be affected
• Airplanes- Flights over the polar caps could have communications issues. Commercial carriers have been notified.
• Power grids- The potential exists for induced currents in the grids. Power grid operators have been alerted.

Only a couple more hours until the CME is scheduled to arrive here on Earth. Hopefully, this glancing blow will turn out to be nothing.

Source:

Chow, Denise. “Huge Solar Flare’s Magnetic Storm May Disrupt Satellites, Power Grids.” SPACE.com. 7 Mar. 2012. (http://www.space.com/14818-solar-flare-magnetic-storm-satellites.html). 8 Mar. 2012.

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Thursday, March 8th, 2012 Communications, Space, Transportation, Travel, Utilities, Weather

1 Comment to Most Powerful Solar Storm In 5 Years Arrives Wednesday

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  2. Most Powerful Solar Storm In 5 Years Arrives | World'sTourist on March 8th, 2012

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