July 13, 2012 2 Comments
On Thursday July 12, 2012 the sun let loose with a huge solar flare and coronal mass ejection. The X1.4 class solar flare emerged from a sunspot in active region 1520 at 12:11Pm EDT.
The flare unleashed a staggering amount of energy roughly equivalent to a billion hydrogen bombs. That energy is now headed toward the Earth at a blistering 850 miles per second.
Solar scientists are expecting a moderately severe magnetic storm when the CME strikes the Earth’s magnetic field this weekend. Alex Young of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center stated, “This could produce auroras as far south as northern California and Alabama [and] into central UK and Europe or southern New Zealand.”
As previously discussed on this blog, geomagnetic storms can disrupt electrical and communication systems that are vital to the operation of data centers and other mission critical facilities.
Solar scientists warn that this magnetic storm could lead to intermittent satellite/radio navigation problems, surface charging on satellites and power grid fluctuations.