December 29, 2011
December 25 Solar Storm Could Knock Out Radio Signals
Scientists have warned of a major solar storm hitting the Earth that could possibly knock out radio signals.
Experts expect radio blackouts for a few days after the radiation from the coronal mass ejection (CME) hits our planet.The flare is part of a larger increase in activity in the Sun, which is expected to peak around 2013.
"Category G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storms are expected 28 and 29 December due to multiple coronal mass ejection arrivals," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center reportd. "R1 (Minor) radio blackouts are expected until 31 December."
A CME contains billions of gases bursting with X-rays and ultraviolet radiation that are flung into space at around 5 million miles per hour.
The storm began heading to Earth on December 25, and the disruptions were expected to start taking place on Wednesday, December 28.
NASA scientists said that the storm would make auroras visible in high latitude areas.
"There is a 20-40% chance of geomagnetic storms! If you live at a high latitude, look out for #auroras today," NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory team wrote in its Twitter on Wednesday.
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