On Tuesday, an enormous solar flare erupted from our sun and expanded as it moved away from the surface and rushed outwards. The charged particles from the flare are flying at 4 million miles per hour, and they smacked into Earth today. Scientists were concerned that the storm could disrupt electrical systems and global positioning technology, but as of this afternoon, nothing major has been reported by NASA.
Joe Kunches, a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center, said that “we’re not out of the woods. It was a good start. If I’m a power grid, I’m really happy so far.”
He was careful to mention that the storm orientation is changing, saying that “it could flip-flop and we could end up with the strength of the storm still to come.”
This solar storm is just a normal part of the sun’s 11-year storm cycle, which will reach a peak in 2013. A solar storm doesn’t post any danger to people, but a big enough one could pose a threat to some of our satellite dependent technologies.