Massive Solar Flare Misses Earth, More To Come

Posted by Adam Sharp - Friday, June 10th, 2011

solar flare

Plasma explosion that occured June 7th (image source).

It wasn't the solar flare itself that shocked scientists, it was the amount of plasma ejected out into space that was unusual. It may have been the largest such "coral mass ejection" (CME) event in recorded history.

"We've never seen a CME this enormous", said astrophysicist Phillip Chamberlin of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, according to National Geographic.

As part of an 11-year cycle, he sun is heading into a period of heightened activity which will peak some time from 2013 to 2014.

The June 7 event missed earth, but experts such as Mr. Chamberlain warn that the coming solar storms could disrupt the world's growing technological infrastructure. More from Nat Geo:

The ejection of particles burst from the right limb of the sun and sprayed into space, so the blast will miss Earth—though the explosion may brighten auroras near Earth's poles, Chamberlin said.

But he warned space-weather experts are concerned about future solar events.

The sun's 11-year cycle of activity, driven by tangled surface magnetic fields, will hit its maximum in late 2013 or early 2014. Magnetic messiness will peak around that time and prompt nasty solar storms.

Here's video:

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