Solar storm posed no threat to communications, aviation
10 March 2012
Two huge light bursts were caused by magnetic eruptions on the Sun on Tuesday and Wednesday, two of the largest solar flares over the last five years which sent high-speed particles headed towards the earth.
As the charged particles slam the earth's magnetic field at more than a million miles per hour and are drawn towards the north and south poles, they generate the nighttime light called auroras or northern and southern lights.
Giant solar storms are known to play havoc with power grids and satellites; astorm knocked out power across a large area in Quebec in 1989.
However, scientists say the current storm, which started on Thursday morning, was not nearly large enough to cause such a wide spread outage.
According to C Alex Young, a senior solar physicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md, at the point it was a minor storm and not likely to be that big even if the levels increased a bit.
He added, it was not something to be concerned about.