Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Solar Flares Causes Biggest Solar Storm in 5 Years: NASA Warns it Could Disrupt power grids, GPS systems, satellites and airline flights

The biggest space weather storm in five years is heading towards Earth and could disrupt power grids, GPS systems, satellites and airline flights, Nasa has warned.

In a statement on its website, the US space agency said the storm was caused by two solar flares that erupted on Sunday.

Following the flares, two bursts of solar wind and plasma - known as a coronal mass ejection (CME) - were thrust towards Earth.

"The first is traveling faster than 1,300 miles per second; the second more than 1,100 miles per second," the statement added.

The brunt of the storm is expected to last until Friday.

A similar storm in January forced Delta airlines to divert flights across the polar regions.

"Space weather has gotten very interesting over the past 24 hours," said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Read More