Thursday, October 23, 2003

Big solar storm will hit Earth Friday

Big solar storm will hit Earth Friday
Last Updated Thu, 23 Oct 2003 13:29:47

BOULDER, COLO. - A strong geomagnetic storm is expected to hit Earth on Friday. Scientists say it may knock out electrical grids and satellite communications.

A "sunspot cluster" said to be 10 times the size of Earth could damage satellites and power grids, as well as cable TV, pager and cellular telephone service.

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo., say it is one of the largest sunspot clusters in years.

Larry Combs, a forecaster at the federal Space Environment Center in Boulder, says the sunspot cluster released a chunk of the sun's outer atmosphere early Wednesday morning.

NASA's Goddard Space Center says the sunspot clusters produce a "coronal mass ejection" – an explosion of gas and charged particles from the outermost layer of the sun's atmosphere.

In 1997, television networks in the U.S. were affected when satellites used to beam programming to local stations were knocked out of service.

Written by CBC News Online staff

I found this article here. I don't know if ther eis any truth in it.

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