Get Ready For Amazing Northern Lights, No SignalPosted by Sean Taylor on January 24th, 2012 View Comments
According to astronomers, a massive solar flare triggered on Jan 22nd is sending electromagnetic particles towards Earth… right about now. In fact, it’s the largest solar storm to hit our rock since 2005 and will smash into the planet around 9 a.m. EST.
Solar eruptions or Coronal Mass Ejections, as they’re called, affect everything from the aurora borealis to communications infrastructures and satellites. This particular geomagnetic storm that we’re about to experience is being rated as an M9-class disturbance, which put it on the medium-high scale for solar storms, just below an X-class flare. And you know by the ominous title… you don’t wanna be around no X-class sun storm.
Precautions are being taken though, as polar flights are being diverted from their normal flight paths as the solar storms tend to run strongest along our magnetic poles. NASA is also weighing in, saying that there is little risk to anyone living on the International Space Station. “The flight surgeons have reviewed the space weather forecasts for the flare and determined that there are no expected adverse effects or actions required to protect the on-orbit crew,” said NASA spokesperson Kelly Humphries.
Solar activity waxes and wanes on an 11-year cycle, and we’re starting to see eruptions grow more intense towards 2013 when the sun’s activity will be the strongest, called solar maximum. What a great name for a band!
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