Huge Solar Flare to Hit Earth Today, Disrupting Power and Communications

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NASA reports that two massive solar flares erupted from the sun on Tuesday which are expected to hit Earth this morning—and they could affect power, communication and GPS systems.

The flares are a result of Coronal Mass Ejections; events where the sun spits out huge amounts of energy in the from of plasma. The resulting flares send clouds of charged particles racing through space and, in this case, we're in the way. The first cloud—due to hit the planet at around 7am EST—is travelling at over 1,300 miles per second, while the second is traveling at about 1,100 miles per second. The video shows footage of the flares recorded by NASA.


Earth will probably be bombarded by particles until sometime on Friday. But while NASA has warned that the event could disrupt power, communications and GPS services, in reality there's not too much to worry about. While satellites and electronics might be temporarily affected, no lasting severe damage should occur.

In fact, there's one upshot: these events increase the chances of spotting auroras, reports the Telegraph. So while you might not be able to check-in on Four Square for a while, you might see something pretty this evening. [EurekAlert! and The Telegraph and Forbes]