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
Police arrest man, 39, over father-in-law's deathPolice arrested a 39-year-old man this morning over the death of his father-in-law as his wife and mother-in-law fight for their lives in hospital.
BUSINESS
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.
SPORTS
Labasa, Nadi to clash in National LeagueThird placed Nadi will host fifth placed Labasa in the lone National Football League fixture this Sunday at Prince Charles Park.
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
Tove Lo’s debut album Queen of the Clouds out Sept 26Tove Lo’s debut album, Queen Of The Clouds, is to release on September 26, featuring the latest single Not On Drugs, and the previous hit Stay High.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS