Our very own sun is unleashing huge amounts of radiation at the Earth due to the largest solar flares we have seen in 6 years. We here on the surface of the planet won’t really feel the effects, but astronauts in space and satellites, even some polar traveling airplanes will be affected by the solar storms.
The image above shows the gigantic explosion on the sun that is causing the heavy solar flares. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said that the solar storms could cause some blackouts and will actually pull the Northern lights farther south, which is pretty cool for those of us living too far south to normally see them.
Radiation from Sunday’s flare arrived at Earth an hour later and will likely continue through Wednesday. Levels are considered strong but other storms have been more severe. There are two higher levels of radiation on NOAA’s storm scale — severe and extreme. Still, this storm is the strongest for radiation since May 2005. The protons that are being fired out of the sun are traveling at a cruising speed of 93 million miles an hour. That’s fast.
Check out the infra-red image below of the sun to also see the eruption. For more on the storms and the threat of radiation, check out our friends at [NatGeo]