Home Front Page A solar storm will produce radio blockouts over the next three days

A solar storm will produce radio blockouts over the next three days


Particles from a recent solar storm will slam today into Earth and produce amazing Northern Lights, or auroras. On the downside, experts expect radio blackouts for a few days, caused by the radiation from the flare – or coronal mass ejection (CME) – causing magnetic storms.

The flare is part of a larger increase in activity in the Sun, which runs in 11-year cycles. It is expected to peak around 2013.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center wrote: “Category G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storms are expected 28 and 29 December due to multiple coronal mass ejection arrivals. R1 (Minor) radio blackouts are expected until 31 December.”

A coronal mass ejection (CME) contains billions of tons of gases bursting with X-rays and ultraviolet radiation that are flung into space at around 5 million mph.

They are mind-bogglingly hot – around 100,000,000 C.

The Earth is occasionally hosed by these ejections, leading to amazing shimmering light shows.


They are caused by the ionized solar particles becoming imprisoned by Earth’s magnetic field, exciting the gases in the atmosphere and emitting bursts of energy in the form of light.

A coronal mass ejection (CME) contains billions of tons of gases bursting with X-rays and ultraviolet radiation that are flung into space at around 5 million mph

A coronal mass ejection (CME) contains billions of tons of gases bursting with X-rays and ultraviolet radiation that are flung into space at around 5 million mph

However, these particles can also cause magnetic storms, which in extreme cases have been known to disrupt satellites and electricity grids.

In 1989, a CME was held responsible for leaving six million people in Quebec, Canada, without power.

Last month one of the largest storms our star can produce was detected.

Known as an X1.9 flare, it was one of the biggest seen in years.

The flare was so powerful that it disrupted communications systems on earth around 45 minutes later.

Another gigantic flare occurred in August, but because it took place on the side of the Sun not facing Earth, there was no disruption to communications or power.

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