08 Mar '12, 2pm

Earth braces for biggest space solar storm in 5 years

Earth braces for biggest space solar storm in 5 years

The biggest space weather storm in five years is hurtling toward Earth, threatening to disrupt power grids, GPS systems, satellites and airline flights, experts say. The brunt of the storm is expected to strike early Thursday and last through Friday, possibly garbling some of Earthlings' most prized gadgets but also giving viewers in parts of Central Asia a prime look at the aurora borealis, or northern lights, when darkness falls on Thursday. "Space weather has gotten very interesting over the past 24 hours," said Joseph Kunches , a space weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , on Wednesday. Meanwhile, NASA warned of a "severe" storm event that would impact both the Earth and Mars as well as some key space agency satellites. The fuss began late Sunday at an active region on the Sun known as 1429, with a big solar flare that was associa...

Full article: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/earth-brac...

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