Holy Solar Flares, Batman! Strong Solar Storm Hits Earth

Two coronal mass ejections explode off the sun on Sept. 10. (Image: NASA)
Two coronal mass ejections explode off the sun on Sept. 10. (Image: NASA)

The second of two extreme solar or geomagnetic storms, in the form of a coronal mass ejection (CME) from a solar flare, hit Earth midday on Friday, September 12. An earlier storm hit late on Thursday.

“The second of the expected coronal mass ejections (CMEs) has arrived, and arrived in good agreement with the predicted arrival times,” according to NOAA’s Space Prediction Weather Center in Boulder, Colo. “As expected, an initial look shows this CME is stronger than the first.”

Scientists said the solar storms could cause some fluctuations in the Earth’s power grid, and slight disturbances to satellite and radio transmissions later on Friday and Saturday.

“A G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm Watch is still in effect for September 13th,” the Space Weather Center announced.

Communications, transportation, and power companies are prepared for any impacts from this level of storm, according to Bill Murtagh, space weather forecaster for the Space Weather Center. “They have taken the actions to mitigate problems,” he said.

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