According to officials, a unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could possibly cause minor disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so.
To get down to specifics for you geeks out there, NASA reported that the sun unleashed a M-2 solar flare, an S1-class radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection- moving at 1,400 km/s- on June 7, 2011 from sunspot complex 1226-1227.
This is the largest blast of radiation on a level that has not been experienced since 2006.
Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center, recently told the Telegraph:
“This one was rather dramatic. We saw the initial flare occurring and it wasn’t that big but then the eruption associated with it – we got energy particle radiation flowing in and we got a big coronal mass injection,” he said. “You can see all the materials blasting up from the Sun so it is quite fantastic to look at.”
While NASA warned that some communication satellites could be disrupted, they haven’t made any extreme statements regarding the severity of the flares.
Sky watchers living at higher latitudes should be alert for auroras when the CME arrives during the late hours of June 8th or 9th.
Check out footage of the spectacular solar flares captured by NASA satellite cameras:
via NASA and the Telegraph