Strong solar storm threatens satnavs, radio coms


Steve Connor
The Independent

March 10, 201

One of the largest solar storms so far this century will hit the Earth today following a huge eruption on the surface of the Sun in the early hours of yesterday morning which flung billions of tons of electrically charged particles towards the planet, scientists said last night.

Experts in the United States warned that the solar flare could cause power blackouts, disrupt GPS satellites and may lead to the diversion of long-haul flights that pass over the polar regions because of intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation at high latitudes.

The solar weather prediction centre of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, said that the solar storm could be “moderate to severe” after it observed a massive explosive ejection of material from the Sun’s outer corona.

“The so-called coronal mass ejection may reach Earth by early Thursday morning. Geomagnetic storms on Earth can impact the operation of electrical grids and temporarily disrupt radio and satellite telecommunications,” a NOAA spokeswoman said.

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