Solar Blast Heads Toward Earth


WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) — NASA says its satellites detected a moderate solar blast on its way to Earth. The blast carries highly energetic particles from the sun.

The “Long Duration M3.2 Class Solar Flare” started at 8:42 a.m. EST Thursday and released the blast headed toward Earth at 630 miles per second, the space agency said.

The Coronal Mass Ejection or CME is expected to arrive at Earth Saturday, bringing with it bright Northern Lights but also the possibility of communications disruptions, USA Today reported.

“Geomagnetic field activity is expected to be at quiet-to-unsettled levels [Friday through Sunday] with a chance for active levels on [Saturday] due to the expected arrival of today’s CME,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s space weather Web site said.

The CME comes as the sun is in the upward swing of its 11-year cycle of solar activity, with more storms expected through 2014.


UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.