Solar Flare Could Disrupt Satellite Communications on Friday 13th
Published on: 12th Jun 2014
Three large solar flares are expected to hit the Earth on Friday and could disrupt satellite communications and the GPS location tracking service.
The solar flares have already affected some high-frequency communications when early radiation hit the earth earlier this week. However, the main energy from the eruptions is expected to arrive on Friday and could have a much wider effect.
One of the three flares released a coronal mass ejection, a massive burst of high energy plasma that could hit the magnetosphere that surrounds the planet and cause a shockwave which would affect communications satellites.
"After producing a pair of R3 (Strong) Radio Blackouts in quick succession yesterday morning, active Region 2087 produced yet another R3 event today," NOAA said in a statement.
"A CME associated with the activity yesterday morning has been observed moving at a flank from Earth and a glancing blow to Earth from this event is expected on June 13. An outside chance of at most G1 (Minor) Geomagnetic storms remains in the forecast."
It's still not clear if the plasma will hit the earth, but the effect is expected to be fairly minimal, this time.
"Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground," NASA advised, but it did confirm that it might affect the satellites.