Friday, September 12, 2014

Solar storm may cause power grid failures this week

A particularly intense solar storm could cause communications and power grid disruptions this week.

While solar storms hit us on a regular basis, this one, which has been classed as "extreme" by forecasters, has the potential to be particularly disruptive. It was produced by a large magnetic explosion originating from a volatile region of sunspot activity that just happened to be pointing directly at us at the time.

The resulting storm is traveling towards us at a speed of around 2.5 million mph and could arrive as early as this evening but is more likely to hit some time tomorrow.

Despite all the predictions of doom and gloom however astronomers have been keen to emphasize that the effects will probably be minimal and that it will pose no harm to humans.

One of the more positive effects of the storm in fact may be a particularly impressive view of the northern lights which may be visible much further south than they can normally be seen from.

"We're not scared of this one," said space weather prediction expert Tom Berger. 

Source: CBS News