INTERNATIONAL NEWS
January 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

A potent solar flare has unleashed the biggest radiation storm since 2005 and could disrupt some satellite communications in the polar regions, US space weather monitors said Monday.

The event started late Sunday with a moderate-sized solar flare that erupted right near the center of the Sun, said Doug Biesecker, a physicist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center.

"The flare itself was nothing spectacular, but it sent off a very fast coronal mass ejection traveling four million miles per hour (6.4 million kilometers per hour)," he told AFP.

A rush of radiation in the form of solar protons already has begun bombarding the Earth and is likely to continue through Wednesday.

The radiation storm is the largest of its kind since 2005 but still ranks only a three on the scale of one to five, enough to be considered "strong" but not "severe," he added.

NOAA said its website the S3 ranking means "it could, e.g., cause isolated reboots of computers onboard Earth-orbiting satellites and interfere with polar radio communications."

Biesecker said that when it comes to radiation storms, the polar regions are affected most.

For instance, the storm could spell disruptions to airline flights, oil operations, Arctic exploration and space satellites.

Night-sky viewers in Asia and Europe may be able to witness the aurora, or Northern Lights, late Tuesday as a result of the storm.

"We don't expect major impacts from an event like this," Biesecker said.

"It's the people who need GPS (global positioning system) accuracy of centimeters who have to worry, not people who want to know if you're going to turn the car 30 meters (100 feet) ahead."

AFP

Wiggle


PREVIOUS STORY
Gingrich seizes lead from Romney
NEXT STORY
UN considers peacekeeper sex abuse blacklist

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Strict laws needed for parents: Youth MPA member of Fiji's Youth Parliament believes parents are not not playing their roles in sending their children to school regularly.
BUSINESS
Tourist arrivals to surpass 700k markFiji's tourism industry is looking at earning over $1billion with tourist arrivals expected to surpass the 700,000 mark.
SPORTS
Suva will play City, Fiji FA confirmsFiji Football Association today confirmed that Suva will participate in Group B of the OFC Champions League against champs and FIFA Club World Cup semi-finalist Auckland City.
TECHNOLOGY
Vodafone Fiji, Tonga telco in allianceVodafone Fiji and Tonga Communications Corporation today signed a strategic partnership alliance that will allow the Tongan company to leverage off the experience of their Fijian counterparts.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
Ne-yo’s new album Non Fiction out Jan 30Grammy Award winner Ne-yo is set to return with Non Fiction, his first album in two years, to be released Jan 30.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS