That white blotch in the upper left quadrant? That’s a Solar Death Storm.
It seems like not that long ago, Earth was facing down some major solar energy activity from the very ball of plasma that sustains life on our planet. In fact, it was just at the end of January when some massive solar flares impacted Earth’s magnetic field,supercharging the aurora borealis, forcing planes to adjust their travel patterns, and generally making scientists nervous. Well, time to get nervous scientists: a pair of massive solar flares will be impacting earth within the next 24 hours.
“Super Tuesday? You bet!” said Joseph Kunches, a space weather scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). ”It’s hitting us right in the nose. By some measures this is the strongest one since December of 2006.”
The solar flare, an X5-4-class sun storm, is expected to cause no major problems, but due to the storm’s strength, people are already taking precautions with their communications systems and air travel routes. The NOAA’s space weather scale has been set at an R3, which means special communication precautions have been taken, but Kunches expects the storm may peak at a G3/S4 level. That means power surges may affect the power grid and that the astronauts on the ISS will have to take shelter from the radiation bombardment.