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Giant Solar Erruption hits earth

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1sticky Giant Solar Erruption hits earth on January 24th 2012, 2:32 pm

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A most intersting developement. About 11pm (est) on sunday a gigantic flare occurred on the sun. The flare was so massive that it sent protons (radiation) shooting out across space at a speed of about 93 million MPH. Now thats fast. In any event, this is the strongest little flare in over 6 years and the earth will continue to be bombarded by higher levels of radiation until around wednsday.

What to expect

You can expect an increased amount in dropped calls on your cells and possibly some power outages and /or electrical problems. Now for my favorite part of the news coverage(you can read the full article that was released to the public  here):

A solar eruption is followed by a one-two-three punch, said Antti Pulkkinen, a physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Catholic University.

First comes electromagnetic radiation, followed by radiation in the form of protons.

Then, finally the coronal mass ejection — that's the plasma from the sun itself — hits. Usually that travels at about 1 or 2 million miles per hour, but this storm is particularly speedy and is shooting out at 4 million miles per hour, Biesecker said.

It's the plasma that causes much of the noticeable problems on Earth, such as electrical grid outages. In 1989, a solar storm caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It can also pull the northern lights further south.

But this coronal mass ejection seems likely to be only moderate, with a chance for becoming strong, Biesecker said. The worst of the storm is likely to go north of Earth.

And unlike last October, when a freak solar storm caused auroras to be seen as far south as Alabama, the northern lights aren't likely to dip too far south this time, Biesecker said. Parts of New England, upstate New York, northern Michigan, Montana and the Pacific Northwest could see an aurora but not until Tuesday evening, he said.

For the past several years the sun had been quiet, almost too quiet. Part of that was the normal calm part of the sun's 11-year cycle of activity. Last year, scientists started to speculate that the sun was going into an unusually quiet cycle that seems to happen maybe once a century or so.

Now that super-quiet cycle doesn't seem as likely


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