News Corp Australia

Solar storm … A space weather projection of where the solar storm may strike.

We don’t yet know when or where the highly charged ejecta from a solar eruption yesterday will hit Earth, but we know it will. The flare, rated X-1 on the solar weather forecaster’s scale, is rated “extreme” – but only just.

Wide swatch CME now visible in updated LASCO C3 imagery. More to come. pic.twitter.com/FxxP9RHTFh
– SolarHam (@SolarHam) September 10, 2014

Forecasters don’t yet know when the solar storm – which erupted from the Sun’s surface late Wednesday – will arrive here or which part of the planet will be facing the brunt of the effects. It could arrive as early as this afternoon Australian time, or may take a few days.

Major X1.6 solar flare observed around region 2158. A fast moving CME likely associated and possibly Earth directed.pic.twitter.com/DsKsrZ74DI
– SolarHam (@SolarHam) September 10, 2014

Scientists will have a better idea after they get more satellite data. Solar flares in the “extreme” scale can cause geomagnetic storms capable of bringing down power grids, damaging satellites and disrupting radio transmissions. More often, the only effect is to brighten the auroras over the north and southern hemispheres.

Sailing through an #Aurora into #Sunrise. #SpaceVine#Timelapse. https://t.co/y5xGBLxWtQ
– Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) September 9, 2014

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