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Solar Storm Hitting Earth Today

The Sun
NASA, Getty Images

A solar storm is expected to hit the Earth’s magnetic field and shake the world a little bit today.  It will be the largest solar storm in five years.  Electrical disruptions could be experienced while utility grids, airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services will be affected as well. 

According to scientists, the solar storm started as a massive solar flare and consists of a massive cloud of charged particles.  It will expand like a soap bubble before hitting Earth at 4 million mph.  Crazy, right?  Just so you don’t freak out like I did at first, this is typical.  The solar storm is part of the sun’s normal 11-year cycle.  They don’t harm people, but they do screw up technology just a bit. 

Astronomers say the sun has been pretty quiet the last few years.  And while this storm is a pretty big one, it may even seem stronger than last decade’s solar storm because we’ve been pretty spoiled by dull solar activity. 

The sun erupted Tuesday evening, but the effects of the solar storm could be felt into Friday morning.  The most noticeable effects hit Earth between 1 am and 5am EST this morning.  However, since new technology has come very far in the last decade, scientists could discover new systems are also at risk that weren’t around years ago.  “In 1989, a strong solar storm knocked out the power grid in Quebec, causing 6 million people to lose power (Times Union).”  Time will tell the effects of today’s storm. 

So remember, if your cell phone or television is acting funny today, now you know why!

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