Solar Storm Warning. It will be a direct hit.
A pair of CME’s (coronal mass ejection) is headed directly towards Earth. The two CME’s (storm clouds of superheated solar plasma) are the result of of giant magnetic explosions on the sun Sept. 9th and 10th from sunspot AR2158. X-class.
While the X1.6 flare is on the ‘extreme’ forecast scale, it’s at the lower end.
Having said that however, don’t be lulled. These flares could not have been more direct (pointing straight at the earth when they exploded).
“It’s been several years since Earth has had a solar storm of this size coming from sunspots smack in the middle of the sun,” said Tom Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.
“But what makes this one more worrisome is its location on the sun along with its strength,” he said.
CME’s that hit Earth can trigger intense geomagnetic storms, which in turn may disrupt GPS navigation, radio communications and power grids.
What solar experts fear most is a recurrence of the huge coronal mass ejection events of 1921 and 1859 (Carrington Event). A government-sponsored panel in 2008 estimated that such a solar event today would likely destroy the U.S. electrical grid, inflict a staggering $1 to $2 trillion dollars worth of damage, and require over a year to repair.
While the same panel did not spell out the obvious (that countless millions of people would die without electricity and the electrical grid), the fact is that one day, a solar storm of sufficient magnitude will strike the earth again. It could happen at any time, with little warning.
NOAA forecasters estimate (the recent earth-directed CME’s) a nearly 80% chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 12th when the first of the two CME’s arrives.
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