Massive Solar Flare Sends Radiation Storm to Earth

solar_stormThe biggest solar radiation storm on earth since 2005 is currently in effect thanks to a massive solar flare that left the sun on Sunday.
Although solar flares can cause disruption of satellite computer systems and long-distance power lines, and cause aircraft to avoid polar flights due to disruption of radio activity and increased levels of radiation, the biggest noticeable effect from the storm for most of us is likely to be northern lights reaching much farther south than usual, possibly as far south as New York.
The Jan. 22 solar flare sent what's called a coronal-mass ejection (CME) flying towards earth at 4 million miles an hour. The CMEs are giant clouds of energized particles - protons, electrons, and heavy atomic nuclei formed by the nuclear fusion reactions that keep the sun shining.

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