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LIVE: Solar Flare And Solar Storm Update

Two new solar flares erupted from the sun today. Here's the live blog:

Sunday 1:33 p.m. Fantastic photo here: 

Solar Flare 2012

Saturday: 9:54 p.m. Both solar flares today were category M. Space weather scientists use five categories — A, B, C, M and X — to rank solar flares. A-class flares are the weakest types of sun storms, while X-class eruptions are the most powerful.

Today's flares also unleashed a wave of plasma and charged particles, called a coronal mass ejection (CME), into space. This wave is expected to reach Earth on March 12.

9:48 p.m. Two new solar flares erupted from the sun today. The outbursts exploded from the surface of the sun at 12:27 a.m. EST and 12:44 p.m. EST, according to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

11:32 a.m. A second solar storm is expected to hit tomorrow morning. It's expected to be less severe than Friday, which was mild. Check out this beautiful Northern Lights picture from Iceland on during Friday's solar storm.

Friday: 1:51 p.m. Although yesterday's solar storm did not cause any reported damage, the Space Weather Prediction Center has announced the sun is acting up again and flared in the same place last night. Brace yourself for a small solar storm Sunday.

Thursday: 11:15 p.m. Great video summary here: 

10:50 p.m. According to the NY Times, Giant solar storms can wreak havoc on satellites and power grids. One storm knocked out power in a large area in Quebec in 1989. The current storm, which started Thursday morning, is not nearly large enough to cause that much trouble.

10:45 p.m. If you’re in other parts of the United States in the Northern states you’ll have a good chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. It’s rare for people even in mid-Michigan to see the Aurora Borealis but it’s expected to extend into the Great Lakes region and further south.

10:40 p.m. Tonight, the solar flare 2012 will be visible in parts of the US. The most visible place is always Alaska for US territory and there will be no exception tonight. 

5:25 p.m. Solar storm update. Is anybody else out there? We've been buried by a Kony 2012 astroid and are trying to recover. Expecting tidal wave to hit soon. But in all seriousness, the solar storm did not cause any major damage. Some of us even might be lucky enough to see Northern Lights tonight. See this cool picture below via aslaska.edu.

1:57 p.m. The solar storm continues to be harmless, according to the NOAA. Even given the solar flare pictured below, everything is under control!

 

12:35 p.m. The chart below shows that the magnetic field from the solar storm (red) is mostly in the same direction as the magnetic field of earth (white) meaning the storm isn't bad at all. From the NOAA NWS Space Weather Prediction Center facebook page:

11:50 a.m. Still no major damage reported from the solar storm, but Vanity Fair has come out with a great list of excuses you can give from today's Solar Storm. Here are our favorites:

  • "I’m late for work today --> I woke up on time and checked the news and saw a lot of people talking about astronomical news --> I assumed that meant it was Daylight Saving Time so I went back to bed for an hour
  • I’m going to have to cancel our dinner on Saturday --> My parents are coming into town --> They’re weirdly religious people who worship solar flares and we have a really busy weekend of prayer
  • I’m sorry I drunk-texted your best friend  --> I meant to drunk-text you  --> The solar flare made the text go to the wrong person --> Also it changed your name to “Susan”

11:25 a.m. Amazing tweet from 

10:43 a.m. So far, this morning's solar storm has caused no major damage. 

10:29 a.m. The FAA reports no major delays along airline routes in the U.S. this morning.

10:10 a.m. Solar storm photo from Russia via SpaceWeather.com

Update: Good visualization of the solar storm from VideoFromSpace

Early this morning, a large solar storm is expected to hit earth. Researchers noticed the storm after a huge solar flare a few days ago.

Solar storms are caused by explosions at the surface of the sun (which is a giant burning gas ball). The explosions release millions of high-energy particles that are magnetically charged and are radioactive radiation. Therefore, solar storms can damage electric grids and GPS systems while also increase radiation for people at high altitudes (astronauts & airplane travelers).

The current storm comes within an 11-year cycle, where the sun reaches maximum storminess. Expect more storms in the next 12 months.

The solar storm’s after effects may last for 24 hours.

Two new solar flares erupted from the sun today

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