January 24, 2012

Radiation from an immense solar blast hit the Earth Tuesday — forcing Delta Air Lines to redirect at least half a dozen airplanes that had been routed over the North Pole.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center — the nation’s official source of warnings about space weather and its impact on Earth — issued a geomagnetic storm warning Monday after a satellite witnessed an ultraviolet flash from the massive solar eruption.

There is no risk to people on Earth, Doug Biesecker of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center told

But as a rare precaution, some polar flights were re-routed to avoid communication lapses and exposing pilots and passengers to excessive radiation.

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