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Dorothy, RUN! Sun Attacks Earth!


BBC

Our planet is being bombarded by high-energy particles unleashed by the strongest solar storm since 2005, scientists say.

The charged particles are mostly a concern for satellites - which they can disrupt - and astronauts.

But they can also cause communication problems for aircraft travelling near the poles.

The geomagnetic storm has been caused by a potent flare that erupted from the Sun at 0400 GMT on Monday.

The effects are likely to be felt on Earth throughout Wednesday.

A more benign effect of the outpouring of particles is the ability to see aurorae, or "Northern lights", farther south than is usually possible.

A spokesman for US space agency Nasa said that flight surgeons and solar scientists have modelled the flare's predicted effects.

They decided that the six astronauts on the International Space Station do not have to take any action to protect themselves from the incoming stream of particles.

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posted: 1/25/2012

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