The sun is bombarding Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm in more than six years with more to come from the fast-moving eruption.
The solar flare occurred at about 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT) Sunday and will hit Earth with three different effects at three different times. The biggest issue is radiation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado.
The radiation is mostly a concern for satellite disruptions and astronauts in space. It can cause communication problems for polar-travelling airplanes, said space weather centre physicist Doug Biesecker.
Radiation from Sundayís flare arrived at Earth an hour later and will likely continue through Wednesday. Levels are considered strong but other storms have been more severe. There are two higher levels of radiation on NOAAís storm scale -- severe and extreme -- Biesecker said. Still, this storm is the strongest for radiation since May 2005.
This handout image provided by NASA, taken Sunday night, Jan. 22, 2012, shows a solar flare erupting on the Sunís northeastern hemisphere. NASA
The radiation -- in the form of protons -- came flying out of the sun at 93 million miles per hour. (150 million kph)
"The whole volume of space between here and Jupiter is just filled with protons and you just donít get rid of them like that," Biesecker said. Thatís why the effects will stick around for a couple days.
NASAís flight surgeons and solar experts examined the solar flareís expected effects and decided that the six astronauts on the International Space Station do not have to do anything to protect themselves from the radiation, spokesman Rob Navias said.
A solar eruption is followed by a one-two-three punch, said Antti Pulkkinen, a physicist at NASAís Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Catholic University.
First comes electromagnetic radiation, followed by radiation in the form of protons.
Then, finally the coronal mass ejection -- thatís the plasma from the sun itself -- hits. Usually that travels at about 1 or 2 million miles per hour, (1.6 or 3.2 million kph) but this storm is particularly speedy and is shooting out at 4 million miles per hour, Biesecker said.
Itís the plasma that causes much of the noticeable problems on Earth, such as electrical grid outages. In 1989, a solar storm caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It can also pull the northern lights farther south.
But this coronal mass ejection seems likely to be only moderate, with a chance for becoming strong, Biesecker said. The worst of the storm is likely to go north of Earth.
And unlike last October, when a freak solar storm caused auroras to be seen as far south as could see an aurora but not until Tuesday evening, he said.
For the past several years the sun had been quiet, almost too quiet. Part of that was the normal calm part of the sunís 11-year cycle of activity. Last year, scientists started to speculate that the sun was going into an unusually quiet cycle that seems to happen maybe once a century or so.
Now that super-quiet cycle does not seem as likely, Biesecker said.
Scientists watching the sun with a new NASA satellite launched in 2010 -- during the sunís quiet period -- are excited.
"We havenít had anything like this for a number of years," Pulkkinen said. "Itís kind of special."
"Report from NOAA/NWS Space Weather Prediction Center : "The strongest Solar Radiation Storm since September, 2005 is in progress and continues to get stronger and a very fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is headed towards Earth."
Norwegian school brutally kicks out students, reopens as immigration center 2015-11-25 1:46
A failing Norwegian school has brutally kicked out all of the students living there with just a few days notice to find somewhere else to live and study. It has now reopened as a reception center for immigrants.
The school, called Waldorf, is in the R√łyken municipality of Buskerud County. It had been failing for sometime, and was officially declared bankrupt ...
Why not hear about Islam from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the ME? 2015-11-25 1:52
Youtube description: She says: "I have reached a boiling point with these lies about Islam! Please share it, don't let me waste my breath....go to voxpopulinews.net for a translation of the ISIS website along with other great articles and podcasts!"
Funniest Moments of Illegal Migrants 2015-11-25 1:27
- Beginner picture: Macedonia
- Disastrous migrant: Hungary-Serbia border (Serbian side)
- Grateful migrants: Hungary (Budapest)
- Border Control: Austria (Slovenian border)
- Migrant actor: Hungary-Serbia border (Serbian side)
- Intelligent migrants: Hungary-Serbia border (Hungarian arie) (The fence was built from the border 2,5meters, in Hungarian area)
- Idiot migrant: Hungary (Bicske)
Pew: 65% say the news media has a 'negative effect' on America 2015-11-25 1:55
More than six in 10 Americans believe that the news media, followed closely by Hollywood, has a negative effect on the country, according to a new survey.
An extensive new Pew Research Center survey finds that 65 percent believe that the news media "has a negative effect on the way things are going in the country." Some 56 percent said the ...
Hostage situation reported in N. France, several suffer 'gunshot wounds'' 2015-11-25 1:12
A hostage situation has been reported in the northern French town of Roubaix near the Belgian border. Several people have sustained gunshot wounds, Reuters reported citing medical sources.
The area has been cordoned off by police, RTL reported, adding that gunfire can be heard.
La Voix du Nord newspaper says the hostage takers are armed with Kalashnikovs. Witnesses told the daily that ...