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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Solar Radiation Storm reaches Earth

January 24th, 2012 by Susan Smith

This morning, the National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center  based in Boulder, Colorado, published a map showing a solar radiation storm touching the upper atmosphere in the Earth’s poles. According to their report the Earth is being bombarded with the strongest blast of radiation from the sun since 2003. This event could cause problems for communications and air travel.

“The red that can be seen at the poles is where the energetic particles enter and where airliners and spacecraft, should try to avoid,” according to the agency.

The event began on Sunday night when a solar flare caused a burst of charged particles for come off the sun and head toward Earth at 5 million miles per hour. These particles bring with them a burst of solar radiation that impacts the magnetic field of the Earth.

So far the solar radiation storm is ranked as an S3 level, which is quite strong. It can cause electronic errors and communication problems in spacecraft. The agency reported that some aircraft flying over the North Pole have rerouted to lower altitudes to avoid radiation risk.

According to NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Research in
Environmental Sciences, the peak space weather is expected to affect the Earth by morning EST and dissipate over the ensuing hours.

-Solar radiation storm sweep over earth – CNET

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Category: climate change

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