solar storm

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The Sun Nearly Caused Nuclear War in 1967

Solar flares made it seem like the USSR was jamming US radars

(Newser) - The sun was nearly responsible for the Cold War going nuclear 50 years ago, according to a study released this week. On May 23, 1967, three US Ballistic Missile Early Warning System radar sites seemed to be jammed. CBS News reports it appeared to the US Air Force, which was... More »

The Sun Is Obliterating Mars' Atmosphere

Solar storms hit with energy of 'one large nuclear weapon per hour'

(Newser) - Scientists might finally have an explanation for how Mars went from an Earth-like, potentially life-sustaining planet to a cold ball of rock barely capable of keeping a single Matt Damon alive . Discovery reports the sun has been "blasting away" the planet's once-thick atmosphere for the past few billion... More »

Solar Storm Headed Our Way

It's relatively big, but no major problems expected for power grid

(Newser) - If by chance your GPS is acting a little weird tomorrow or Saturday, this might be why: A relatively big solar storm is coming our way, reports USA Today . Scientists say no major disruptions in the power grid are expected, but satellite operators are on alert. The sun unleashed a... More »

2012 Solar Blast Nearly Sent Earth to Stone Age

We almost lost electricity, GPS, running water, at least for a while

(Newser) - Imagine life without electricity or running water, and you'll understand what nearly befell our planet two years ago. Scientists say that on July 23, 2012, the sun belched its biggest solar flare in more than 150 years and barely missed us, CBS News reports. A week earlier and the... More »

Watch a Solar Wave Burst Out of the Sun

Blast thankfully wasn't pointed at Earth

(Newser) - NASA has released a seriously cool video of a massive solar wave—what the cool kids call a "coronal mass ejection"—that its Solar Dynamics Observatory captured over a 2.5-hour stretch yesterday. While these kinds of sun storms have been known to mess with satellites or even... More »

NASA Captures Spectacular Solar Storm

Huge flare could have swallowed several Earths

(Newser) - The sun spat out a solar flare big enough to swallow the Earth several times over last week and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured the amazing sight. The filament, resembling a massive "solar whip," was ejected at 900 miles per second during the sun's eruption. NASA... More »

Solar Storm Tomorrow: Scientists Not Worried

No grid disruptions are expected

(Newser) - Another solar storm is hurtling toward Earth and will collide with our planet's magnetic field beginning tomorrow morning and lasting into Sunday. But don't fret, say scientists. The event is minor, and "we don't see any ill effects to any systems," says a space forecaster.... More »

Do We Need to Protect Grid From Sunstorms?

Officials clash over whether to upgrade system

(Newser) - The peak in the 11-year cycle of solar flares happens next year, but electricity regulators have made little progress in deciding how much protection the power grid needs, the Wall Street Journal finds. They are reviewing records as far back as the 1859 "superstorm," the strongest solar storm... More »

Solar Storm No Biggie, but Brace Yourself...

...because more are expected as sun nears peak of 11-year cycle

(Newser) - Turns out space weather forecasts can be as unreliable as terrestrial ones. The solar storm that hit us yesterday was much weaker than expected, and the world's power grids, satellites, and telecommunication systems did not experience problems. "I think we just lucked out," the director of Boston... More »

Solar Storm 'Hitting Us in Nose'

Storm slammed into Earth this morning, could cause disruptions

(Newser) - While most of us were busily counting sheep or howling at the nearly-full moon last night, plasma and charged particles produced by Tuesday night's massive solar flares were hurtling toward the planet at 4 million mph, reports Space.com . This material, the largest coronal mass ejection (CME) in five... More »

Scientists Warn of 'Catastrophic' Solar Storm

1 in 8 chance of destructive megaflare by 2020

(Newser) - Prepare yourself for yet another potential disaster. Scientists are warning that we face a one-in-eight chance of a massive "catastrophic" solar storm by the year 2020. A colossal "megaflare" from the surface of the sun could cause trillions of dollars in damage to electrical systems, and could take... More »

Vast Solar Storm Flings Plasma Toward Earth

Some flights grounded as a precaution

(Newser) - A stream of charged plasma is headed toward Earth today, thanks to the biggest solar storm since 2005. The storm poses a small, manageable threat to satellites, power grids, and other high-tech hardware, and could cause some spectacular displays of light and color, the LA Times reports. The National Oceanic... More »

Auroras Sweep Northern Skies

Solar flares hit the Earth's atmosphere, creating amazing light shows

(Newser) - As predicted last week , a solar storm that swept through the Earth's magnetic field created some incredible northern lights displays, with fantastic auroras lighting the skies from Canada to Norway, reports MSNBC . In addition to MSNBC's collection of photos and videos, you can see more photos at... More »

Northern Lights Seen in Deep South

People as far south as Atlanta spot aurora borealis

(Newser) - The Deep South isn’t exactly the place you think of when you hear “northern lights.” But the aurora borealis was in fact visible from Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Atlanta last night, hundreds of miles farther south than is typical. "A storm on the sun's surface... More »

Solar Storm Boosting Northern Lights

Display could be visible as far south as Colorado

(Newser) - Bad news for telecommunications, good news for skywatchers: The sun is entering a busy period of its 11-year cycle, and solar flares are expect to affect the earth for the next several years, making the Northern Lights more spectacular and visible further south. A geomagnetic storm currently in progress is... More »

Solar Storm to Hit Earth This Week

Could impact communications, GPS

(Newser) - If your GPS stops working in the next few days, blame solar storms. Following three large explosions from the sun recently, US government scientists are expecting a larger solar event this week—and warn that satellite, telecommunications, and electric equipment, including GPS, could be disrupted. "The magnetic storm that... More »

Beware of 'Space Weather'

Solar storms can be disastrous—but we can protect ourselves

(Newser) - It’s not just the weather on Earth we need to worry about—there are storms in space, too, and they can pose a serious threat if we’re not prepared. Recent years have been quiet around the sun, but it’s about to reach the height of its magnetic... More »

Dramatic Solar Flare Could Mess With Things

It unleashed biggest firestorm of radiation in 5 years

(Newser) - The sun let loose a fiery explosion yesterday that could mess with GPS and communication satellites, power grids, and more, the National Weather Service warned today. “This one was rather dramatic,” an official from the NWS’ Space Weather Prediction Center tells the Telegraph . "We saw the initial... More »

Solar Storms Could Produce 'Global Katrina'

Solar flare could knock out GPS, other satellites, scientists warn

(Newser) - There’s a very good chance that sometime in the not-so-distant future, a severe solar storm could unleash an electromagnetic pulse on Earth, knocking out satellites, grounding air travel, and disrupting power grids around the world, scientists warned at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. The UK’... More »

'Solar Katrina' Could Blindside Us

Senate needs to act to protect power grid

(Newser) - America is woefully underprepared for a looming natural disaster with the potential to be much worse than Hurricane Katrina, warns disaster expert Lawrence E. Joseph. Scientists believe a solar storm of a size not seen since 1921 is likely to hit the earth after solar activity picks up in 2012,... More »

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