X-Class Solar Flare Erupts – Northern Lights Expected As Far South as Washington DC
Our solar system is a beautiful and very dangerous place. The sun proved that again by scattering a billion atomic bombs’ worth of energy into space in a X-Class solar flare.
A wave of charged solar particles will hit the earth Saturday through Sunday exposing power grids and satellites to possible disruptions.
read more at wired.com
The video below shows the eruption in different wave lengths of light.
The flare itself affected Earth directly for about an hour, causing problems on some radio frequencies, but the larger impacts will come from a subsequent wave of charged solar particles called a coronal mass ejection, or CME. Researchers think the CME will pummel Earth’s natural magnetic field Saturday through Sunday, exposing power grids and satellites to possible disruptions.
The bright side, however, wil be bright: Solar storms trigger dazzling northern lights. For this weekend’s CME, heliophysicist Alex Young of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center hopes the auroras will reach as far south as Washington, D.C., though it’s impossible to know for certain until moments before the CME reaches Earth.