A cantankerous sunspot region erupted with a powerful X1.6-class solar flare at just the wrong time Wednesday. The blast was pointing right at us. That means the resulting outburst of electrically charged particles, known as a coronal mass ejection or CME, could have a disruptive effect.
The National Weather Service’s Space Weather Prediction Center reported on its Facebook page that the height of the storm is expected to sweep over Earth on Saturday
Solar storms don’t have a significant impact on human health, although high-altitude fliers and astronauts may get an extra dose of radiation. In a worst-case scenario, the storms can deal a blow to orbiting satellites and power grids on Earth. In a best-case scenario, they merely cause heightened auroral displays. Continue reading