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.
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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