This mornings X5.4 Solar Flare is the largest in 5 years! The US will feel the effects.

Get ready for a bumpy ride! we have had out largest solar event in the last 5 years today and tomorrow morning we should start to feel the effects.

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solar storm
X5.4 Solar Flare of March 7, 2012
CREDIT: NASA

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.

“Space weather has gotten very interesting over the last 24 hours,” Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told reporters today (March 7). “This was quite the Super Tuesday — you bet.”

Several NASA spacecraft caught videos of the solar flare as it hurled a wave of solar plasma and charged particles, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), into space. The CME 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) at 7 a.m. EST (1200 GMT), with the effects likely lasting for 24 hours, and possibly lingering into Friday, Kunches said.

 

 

The solar eruptions occurred late Tuesday night when the sun let loose two huge X-class solar flares that ranked among the strongest type of sun storms. The biggest of those flares registered as an X5.4-class solar storm on the space weather scale, and the CME from this flare is the one that could disrupt satellite operations, Kunches said.

“When the shock arrives, the expectation is for heightened geomagnetic storm activity and the potential for heightened solar radiation,” Kunches said.

 

 

This heightened geomagnetic activity and increase in solar radiation could impact satellites in space and power grids on the ground. Some high-precision GPS users could also be affected, he added.

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Read the rest of the article on Space.com : http://www.space.com/14818-solar-flare-magnetic-storm-satellites.html

Anteros Oberon
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