Solar flares today may affect many flights. Meanwhile the year 2012 begins with strongest solar storm hitting Earth
Massive solar flare were was predicted six years ago and it was supposed to hit the Earth with a violent storm of geomagnetic storm currents early this Tuesday. The prediction, made by Space Weather Prediction Center, a unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, proved to be true as Earth was hit by a massive solar flare early in the morning today.
Space Weather Prediction Center comes out with daily reports on the state of “solar weather” and its effects on Earth. Its report stated that Earth would be hit with three different effects at three different times, the biggest problem being the overdose of radiation. High level of radiation in the atmosphere can disrupt satellite communications and hamper the schedule, safety and routes of polar-traveling airplanes. Doug Biesecker, a space weather center physicist of the cente also informed that some airlines have already changed the routes of their polar flying planes.
The effects of the solar flare are here to remain for some days as the storm hitting the earth is just enormous – it is the biggest solar flare since 2005
Biesecker said, “The whole volume of space between here and Jupiter is just filled with protons and you just don’t get rid of them like that. That’s why the effects will stick around for a couple days.”
NASA’s spokesman Rob Navias said that the flight surgeons and solar experts of NASA have examined the solar flare’s expected effects and reached the conclusion that the six astronauts currently on the International Space Station do not need any extra protection from the radiation,.
The effects of solar flares are better monitored now. A massive solar flare back in 1989 caused a massive blackout in Quebec as it caused electrical outages. It also brightens aurora borealis and pushes the northern lights further south.
But this coronal mass ejection seems likely to be only moderate, with a chance for becoming strong, Biesecker said. The worst of the storm is likely to go north of Earth.
Doug Biesecker, a physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, said, “The last time we had a radiation storm this strong was May 2005. That’s really the reason this event is remarkable — it’s just been so long since we’ve seen this.”
Biesecker also informed that geomagnetic storms are measured by scientists on a scale of one to five, with five being the strongest. He predicted a geomagnetic storm of the intensity of levels two and three.
“We haven’t had anything like this for a number of years,” Pulkkinen said. “It’s kind of special.”
The Earth will be bombarded today by the strongest solar radiation storm in six years, with a limited potential to affect satellites and power grids, officials say.