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Rare And Strong Solar Storms Hit Earth

Update Date: Sep 12, 2014 02:19 PM EDT
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A strong solar flare blown out by powerful sun eruption is blasting its way to Earth, but looks like it will barely skim above the planet without causing any harm. 

It is very rare that Earth witnesses a solar storm of this size coming from sunspots smack in the middle of the sun.

"The two solar storm clouds were launched on Sept. 9th and 10th by strong explosions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158," writes NASA's Tony Phillips on spaceweather.com. "NOAA forecasters estimate a nearly 80 percent chance of polar geomagnetic storms on Sept. 12th when the first of the two CMEs arrives."

"Radio emissions from shock waves at the leading edge of the CME suggest that the cloud tore through the sun's atmosphere at speeds as high as 3750 km/s (over 8 million miles per hour)," Phillips adds. "That would make this a very fast moving storm, and likely to reach Earth before the weekend."

So while the power grid may see fluctuations because the storm will cause changes in Earth's magnetic field, it won't knock power systems off line, said Tom Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado, according to SFGate.

"We're not scared of this one," Berger said.

Berger added that the storms might cause disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions as well, but nothing major. 

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