From: Staff, ClickGreen, More from this Affiliate
Published March 8, 2012 07:03 AM

Huge Solar Storm hitting Earth

NASA scientists are warning that Earth will be bombarded today by the first wave of a massive solar storm that erupted from the surface of the Sun on Wednesday.

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A huge wave of solar radiation will strike Earth this morning after travelling through Space at speeds of 1,300 mph.

The flare could result in a severe geomagnetic storm, causing aurora, or the Northern Lights at low latitudes, with possible disruption to high frequency radio communication, global positioning systems (GPS), and power grids.

NASA models using data from the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) and the Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) have now provided more information about the two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) associated with the two March 6 flares.

The first is travelling faster than 1300 miles per second; the second more than 1100 miles per second. NASA's models predict that the CMEs will impact both Earth and Mars.

The models also predict that the leading edge of the first CME will reach Earth at about 1:25 AM EST today.

The sun erupted with one of the largest solar flares of this solar cycle at 7PM EST on Wednesday.

This flare was categorized as an X5.4, making it the second largest flare - after an X6.9 on August 9, 2011 - since the sun's activity segued into a period of relatively low activity called solar minimum in early 2007.

The current increase in the number of X-class flares is part of the sun's normal 11-year solar cycle, during which activity on the sun ramps up to solar maximum, which is expected to peak in late 2013.

Solar flare via Shutterstock

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