The Tech Herald

Giant solar flare threatens global communications

by Steven Mostyn - Jan 24 2012, 12:01

Image: NASA.

Global communications could experience suffer severe disruptions this week after an enormous solar flare eruption on the surface of the sun sent a huge plume of radiation racing towards Earth.

That’s according to stargazing experts that claim the incoming radiation bombardment is likely to trigger a geomagnetic storm capable of temporarily knocking out satellite communications and GPS systems.

The solar flare in question—the biggest recorded since 2005—has also spewed billions of tons of matter our way in what scientists refer to as a Coronal Mass Ejection.

People situated high in the Northern Hemisphere should expect to see particularly bright instances of the famed Aurora Borealis as a result of the particles slamming into the Earth’s atmosphere over the next few days.

In related news, NASA has said astronauts aboard the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) are completely safe from the solar flare’s effects.

“The flight surgeons have reviewed the space weather forecasts for the flare and determined that there are no expected adverse effects or actions required to protect the on-orbit crew,” a NASA spokesman told Space.com.

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