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Solar flare could cause interference and power surges

By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   Aug. 21, 2013 at 2:16 PM   |   Comments

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Aug. 21 (UPI) -- A powerful Solar storm that took place Tuesday morning could disrupt radio communications and trigger geomagnetic storms in the coming days.

The solar eruption, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), occurred at 4:24 a.m. EDT and blasted billions of tons of solar particles toward Earth at around 2 million mph, SPACE.com reported.

"Experimental NASA research models, based on observations from NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, show that the CME left the sun at speeds of around 570 miles per second, which is a fairly typical speed for CMEs," NASA officials wrote in an update Wednesday.

The particles fired by the sun will reportedly take from two to three days to reach our planet at which point they could cause interference and power surges.

However, NASA points out that storms like Tuesday's "have usually been mild."

In addition, the CME's that hit Earth could trigger auroras, also known as the gorgeous northern and southern lights.

SPACE.com attributed the solar flare to its current location on the 11-year cycle, which just so happens to be at its peak activity phase.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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