In Time for the 4th: Solar Fireworks?
Electrically charged particle belch could light up sky
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 3, 2012 3:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – The most intriguing fireworks tomorrow may already have been sparked 93 million miles from Earth. The sun yesterday belched out a major a M5.6-class solar flare—extremely close in power to a maximum X-class flare, notes Discovery. The flare from the large sunspot known as AR1515 produced waves of ionization over Europe so powerful that they triggered radio blackouts, reports MSNBC. But the solar eruption also released a "coronal mass ejection" of charged particles that's now a "south-traveling cloud that could deliver a glancing blow to our planet's magnetosphere" along with a celestial fireworks show just in time for the Fourth of July, notes Spaceweather.com.

 

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